Food is a delicate balance sometime. Such is life.
My philosophy is what you put into food, people will receive. What that means is it’s a very careful balance of flavor, texture, esthetics and love. Although carefully put together, it does not have to be difficult. It’s quite the contrary.
Let me give you an example: One of the moments I most enjoy is when my daughter comes over for dinner. Even though I have fed this child (who is actually 25 but they’re always “your child”), I still carefully plan what I want to serve and how I’m going to prepare dinner. I know what she likes. Fortunately she has a very open palate so I can even create something outside the box. A typical meal starts with a trip to the farmers market (in the summer) to see what looks fresh and vibrant. There has to be color. Once I get that far, now I can start to develop the menu. Then I walk around the market and maybe see a nice goat cheese, organic eggs and fresh herbs. Now I’m thinking a fritatta or a simple omelet. I pick up a few of those beautiful tiny red potatoes for a side dish and hit up the local farmer for some fresh peaches for dessert and my menu is done.
From a nutritional stand point, I have the basic food groups and farm fresh to boot.Now I play a soft jazz and prepare dinner. Everything is carefully washed and gently chopped. The peaches are sliced and just barely sauteed in a little honey, cinnamon and a pinch of ginger. The kitchen smells great. The music sounds great and now with the aroma of a medley of vegetables and herbs, the conversation flows. There is love in the kitchen shared by a mother and daughter.
She sets the table and lights a candle. As we begin our meal, the conversation starts about how it was prepared and soon turns to a trip down memory lane about meals from the past. Ones that we prepared together or others when friends came over to share. There are a few about the disasters that happen from time to time (we’ve all had them. Even the James Beard chefs). Sometime those situations turn into new recipes.
The important thing is, it’s all about the love. The love that went into choosing the ingredients, to the preparation to the service. The love you receive when you taste the sweetness of the peaches. When you find the perfect balance, the rest of the meal will follow.