Okay, I have to get better at this blogging thing…and it is ironic that here again I find myself writing about an old cook. John Shelsta came into my kitchen knowing nothing about cooking, as green as could be. Here he is now making bread that I couldn’t even dream of producing. He’s using a sourdough starter, that he loves and nurtures daily, mixing it with a bit of wheat flour, for that added nutty flavor. John has the patience and attention to detail of a Buddhist Monk. He carefully measures, feels and crafts every step of the process. The three day result is a rustic loaf that is to die for. I believe he’s gone through over 200 pounds of flour in the past months, perfecting this bread. I hope we can one day see Johns passion turned into a productive business, but for now only a few have the privilege of savoring this tasty loaf…I’m glad to be one of them.
One of my old cooks and good friend Rickey gave me a couple jars of pickles. I thought I was in for just another run of the mill sour vegetable. Boy was I wrong. I mean, mung bean and chinese chive pickle. Blew my mind. One of the things I appreciate the most about being a chef is the inspiration I’m given from cooks. Really, I would say fifty percent of what I put on a plate comes from an idea a cook gave me. Sure I have to sift through all the crazy things they suggest as well, but its usually worth it.