Sunday, February 20, 2005

24 Hours in the Life ...

... of a chef in Paris, brought to us by Moveable Feast.
8:30
Go around the kitchen and say “bonjour” and shake hands with everyone – shake wrists if hands are dirty - kiss cheeks with a few close kitchen comrades with whom I worked at the Plaza. Pull out my knife tray. Put on my toque. Set up stations - cutting boards and countertop waste bins. MEP - mise en place - about 20 different things – and sometimes only two of us – me and the ranking chef de partie. I’ll either start with the crayfish or the nightmarish herb salad. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a truly beautiful thing – a mélange of mesclun, fine frisee, wild arugula, chives, chervil, mache, purple and green basil, mint, tarragon, marjolane, and three other herbs I’ve yet to identify. But it’s a painstaking process to prep – each element no bigger than the size of your thumbnail – some smaller than tip of an eraser – it’s like making a building a beach from individual grains of sand ...

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