7/7/10

What do the chefs eat?

I get asked all the time about what I eat at Chow. I work here, and am surrounded by delights of every kind. Between the proteins and the vegetables and the baked goods, it's a fantasy land of food. I'm sure that when vegans dream of heaven, they see our walk-in fridge and our dessert fridge (yes, there's a whole entire fridge dedicated to our baked goods). So what do I eat regularly?

In the winter, it's soup. In the summer, it's a cucumber and onion sandwich. Every day. I'm serious. Before that, it was hummus with cucumbers. Every day. Before that, it was the Sacred Caesar. Every single day. I've been caught! I'm a boring eater. Oh! And I have it with a few glasses of water. When I first started working here, it was the meatball hero. When I'd make cute faces at the other cooks in the kitchen to ask them to make me something (because I was in the middle of something major that needed my attention for the immediate future), they'd often know what I was going to ask for before I said a word.

I don't know why, but for some reason, I tend to get into food fixations and repeat the same pattern over and over again for months at a time. Poor Cliff has to put up with my monotony day in and day out. Fortunately, he's too polite to comment. Mind you, when there's specials being made, I have to "quality control" (taste), and frequently. I'll ladle some food out into a bowl, and check for spices, salt, and doneness throughout the cooking process. Also, whenever there's a large tray of freshly roasted home fries, I can't resist but to quality control a few of those as well.

Boss Man's favourite is and always has been the seitan, be it BBQ, olive, or otherwise. Unfortunately, gluten started making his joints creak, so he cut that out. Mind you, he still sneaks a few pieces when he thinks I'm not looking, so there goes that. He also adores the Grilled Western Tofu. Watch him grilling one day, and marvel at the fact that any of it ends up in the fridge! I'm kidding. He's quality testing too. We all do. Either way, it's that, or tempeh. He likes to snack on the tempeh when it's cold. Mind you, he's fairly happy eating anything cold. It doesn't bother him in the least.

Chef Laura's a huge fan of salad, especially in the summer months. It'll generally be a quick mixed greens and tofu salad with a bit of Caesar dressing. Which, by the by, is so good that it ought to be illegal. Also, any time I whip up something Indian, she's fairly happy to quality test it for me. She used to like to taste the cakes and cookies and stuff, but she cut out gluten and sugar, so there goes that. Instead, she'll munch on fruit from time to time.

All three of us absolutely adore having steamed vegetables with just a bit of salt. Whatever veg it is, be it green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or anything along those lines, just a quick steam bath and a dash of salt, and we're in heaven. All three of us also adore eating the fresh tomatoes that come to us from Jersey. We've only got them for a short time, so trust me when I say that tomatoes are fairly high on the list of snacking foods around here. That goes triple for strawberries. Of course, it's all in the name of ensuring that only the finest quality food is put forward, which means that we selflessly taste test the strawberries all day long.

There are times when I'll walk into the office with a plate of steamed veg (like green beans), and Cliff helps himself. Quite generous that man is. Cliff's also got a lot of love for a cup of freshly brewed coffee, which he can have throughout the day without issues. During the winter, Laura likes this tea that I do with thinly sliced ginger, lemon rind, lemon juice, and hot water. It kept us both from feeling cold.

What about Mini Preefer? As the son of a chef, you'd think he would have fairly exotic tastes, and you'd be spot on. That kid craves risotto. If there's no risotto, the next option is the Korean Tofu Cutlets. Also, at random, he likes broccoli sandwiches. Hear him out! It's steamed broccoli, chopped up small, with a sprinkle of salt and garlic powder, on toasted bread. It's actually quite nice. Barring that, it's BBQ Seitan. Like father like son, I guess!
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