I am a gourmandise, in the true French sense of the word. I love food, the lushness of ingredients, the magic of its alchemy, the universal power it has. But I am reticent to call myself a foodie, and just the thought of a tasting menu makes me wince with the thought of its exclusivity, the way it makes taste a luxury and a commodity and how its very concept reeks of pretentiousness.
When I recently listened to a show about the renowned chef Grant Achatz I expected to hate him. I had perhaps heard of him, but hadn’t paid much attention, dismissing him, I suppose, out of my dislike for the business of food.
But ahhhhhh his is a wonderful tale. Simple beginnings and what is clearly a brilliance which is driven not by ego or snobbishness but of pure love of food. The story of the oak leaves made me open my mouth in awe (and made some patrons of his restaurant cry….as you will hear in his tale which I beg you to listen to, here, even if you, like me, are fearful of such things).
I ache to pawn my last ounce of jewelry and crawl to his tasting table if only to get a whiff of such brilliant perfection. Srsly. Umhm.
***edit 3/8/11 – how ignorant I am to not have known of him, and to even think of hating a man who not only creates such perfection but also went through his own personal hell. I just bought his book, “Life, on the Line” in the ibooks store.***