Put on Lipstick and Get Out
I am no stranger to cooking class dinner parties, having worked for two years at the (sadly now defunct) Culinary Loft, so when I had a beautiful bonding experience yesterday at Culinary Works at Deane Rooms Everlasting, it brought back blazingly profound memories. It was at The Loft where I learned the difference between ketchup and ketchup manis, first cleaned a squid, and learned what a whole food was (before Whole Foods existed). To a country bumpkin quickly transforming into a hardcore foodie, The Loft was an absolute playground. Stocked to the gills with every exotic and extraordinary dry ingredient known to man, brimming with Le Creuset, and directly across the street from Dean & Deluca, it oozed with luxury and pleasure for any student of food.
On my first day, I wondered aloud why the kitchen didn’t have Nutrigrain Bars; the Loft's owner Corinne taught me that packaged supermarket food is not special. Later that week, I offered her a bite of a Cheddar Jalapeño bagel from Au Bon Pain; she explained that slow foodists prefer classically home-wrought baked goods, not to mention flavors with history and tradition, like sesame and pumpernickel.
I caught on, and pretty soon I was teaching students the specific paring knife with which to flay the monkfish, and arguing the best uses for umeboshi plum paste. I cooked with Ming Tsai and met Emeril Lagasse. I made Southeast Asian pho, when all I had previously known was Campbells and chili. But most importantly, I saw how New York foodies ate, and I became one.
Who am I kidding?
The lipstick was already on.
So yesterday, when I was beaten from the day, stressed about change, and hurting from the guilt of possibly ditching the kids’ bedtime, I’m glad I made myself put on red lipstick and get out despite it all, to have fun at Culinary Works. It felt like old times, except that I was the student, so I could drink wine, relax, and absorb. Crostini with fig paste, goat cheese, basil & prosciutto (pictured) - get in my belly.
P.S. Who am I kidding? The lipstick was already on.
Xx, Mom in Mascara