The Butterfly Effect
So Garrett tagged me for this here meme. Bastard.
Here's the lowdown, from the good folks at Saltshaker:
"My thought in this meme is food items or events that changed your foodie life. Not some oh, its the first time I didnt put jelly on a peanut butter sandwich and used bananas instead sort of change, unless you truly feel that affected you profoundly. Thats the key - it affected you profoundly, in some manner. A moment you can look back at and say that was a defining moment. The questions are simple, the answers might be harder - an item, person, event, or place that had that effect on you, and why. They dont have to be big splashy things - sometimes its something very small and simple that changes the way we view the world - the famed butterfly effect (and Im not talking about the Aston Kutcher movie). So, to those who want to participate, copy this and pass it on (and, if youre so inclined, do a trackback to the originating post). Here are your categories:
1. An ingredient
2. A dish, a recipe
3. A meal (in a restaurant, a home, or elsewhere)
4. A cookbook or other written work
5. A food personality (chef, writer, etc.)
6. Another person in your life"
1. An ingredient. Kosher salt hands down, bitches. I discovered Kosher salt when I began watching M. Diddy on a daily basis. No single ingredient can transform a dish the way salt can. Shitty table salt just won't do, and that's why Kosher salt is my partner in crime.
2. A dish, a recipe. Since I'm the Restaurant Whore, I'll talk about a dish in a restaurant. The first time I tried Loretta Keller's harvest pizza (back when Coco500 was still Bizou), it changed my life. I mean there were grapes! On pizza! It totally shifted my thinking about how to use ingredients. LK is the shit fo' sho.
3. A meal. This is difficult to narrow down, but I would have to say Alinea. I had no idea you could do that with food. That said, so many other meals have affected me in profound ways, have rocked my world and made a permanent impact.
4. A cookbook or other written work. It's so cliche and annoying to pick this, but I have to say Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. I was a pretty responsible eater before I read this book, but afterwards, I couldn't even pick up a piece of non-organic fruit without feeling dirty. And I don't mean the good kind of dirty.
5. A food "personality." Jacqueline Margulis, the chef at Cafe Jacqueline. There is no greater love than the love this woman puts into her work. When I walk through her kitchen to visit the loo, and see her gnarled hands whisking away with a huge bowl of eggs by her side, I am awestruck. Her beauty and craft are breathtaking. Such devotion is rare in this world.
6. Another person in your life. My cooking instructor in college. Learning proper cooking technique and putting it into practice made me a much more skilled and educated diner. That's why when I'm served crap, I know why it's crap.
I ain't taggin' nobody because a)I'm lazy, and b) I don't want no haters. If you want to do this, go for it.
I'm crazy behind on my shit here, but I have more than one amazing meal in the pipeline. A weekend in Napa gave me some good (and much bad) fodder, as did my first meal at the glorious Shanghai Dumpling King. Hang in there, kids. I'll get there.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld