Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A couple great things happened in the same day. Yesterday, I began my cooking apprenticeship at Chor Bizarre, Noida, and I found out our friend Dorothy is leaning towards moving to New York! Unexpectedly I got to begin a day earlier than I thought, and Shivi and I headed into the restaurant. Everyone was very welcoming to have me in the kitchen. Noida is one of three Chor Bizarre locations. They have food brought in from one of the other locations, and the management company Old World Hospitality has several other facilities including a bakery and sweets location that delivers to Noida. So, a lot of the food that they plate there is combined from prepared foods. Don’t let that deceive anybody, there is still bucket loads to clean, chop, and prepare. Most of the time yesterday it felt like I was in the way, but Shivi explained to me that it was only the first day. Hopefully, today will be a little different. Thankfully, the kitchen has fairly tall ceiling levels, so height is only an in issue in several places because of the paper chef’s cap I’ve been required to wear. Funny enough a chef from the Chinese section of the kitchen noticed my predicament and offered a pair of scissors to trim down my hat that fell off every time I went into the lower part of the kitchen. I need to trim it a bit lower, and then it won’t be a problem at all. The kitchen is broken down into several different sections all of which are unfamiliar to me as far as cuisines go. There is a Kashmiri section; there is a curry section; there is a tandoori section; there is a Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, and several other oriental styles section; there is a dishwashing section (this one I am pretty familiar with); there is a sweets section (this one I plan on becoming intimately familiar with!). One of the executive chef’s went through the menu item by item with me and offered me tastes of many ingredients. And, and, and, he suggested that I walk around with a spoon to taste everything produced in the kitchen. Anybody that remotely knows me can understand this ranks up there with ultimate pleasures. I mean come on tasting fiery Kashmiri curries, mutton, chicken, ginger, garlic, peppers, chilies, everything, everything, everything!!! Amongst all of the tasting yesterday there was one thing that absolutely floored me. There is a type of food called Chaat (pronounced like ‘Chart’). This is often referred to as street food. There are small venders in the cities, train platforms, and in restaurants throughout India that offer this small dishes as a snack or several combine to make a nice fully belly meal. Anyway, the typical additions to the base are a coriander jaggery sauce, sweetened dahi (curd or yoghurt), and several other spices like cumin seed powder. So, the base he had me taste that absolutely floored me was a deep fried whole spinach leaf. I am not sure what the batter was that they used, but it was out of this world. I intend to become more familiar with this for sure. Yes, I am enthusiastic about this apprenticeship and all that I will take from it!

So, our friend Dorothy, Dot, Dot the Bisnot is considering New York finally. We, Dana and I told her when she was leaving Boston last year to come to New York, but she insisted on returning to Dallas. Thankfully, she will not to continue drudging through Dallas with disdain for the boufon hair and blue eyeshadow. Instead she will be taking up residence at 125 Seaman Avenue for the summer. We’re all very excited for this transition, and I wish her the best of luck. It’s nice when people realize the inherit beauty and opportunity available in New York. Yes, I too crave the frenetic New York day and nights. Amazing how you have to leave a place sometimes to see how deep-set your love is. New York and I will continue to explore our possibilities when I return!

I need to run and great ready for a great day cooking. I send my love to all.

No comments: