I’ll admit it, I am a chef groupie. I love reading about chefs who have worked themselves up the ranks and made it big either through successful restaurants, publishing, TV and radio exposure or are just known in the food world to be creative and outstanding. Whenever I see a chef I admire, I always try to get my picture taken with them. I also try to get my cookbooks authored by them, signed whenever possible. When I was traveling in New York last year, my husband took my daughter and I to Le Bernardin for lunch. The meal itself was a major highlight but having the opportunity to have my picture taken with Eric Ripert, a French chef I have admired for years was momentous. Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely am giddy but at the moment when Chef Ripert came over to my table to say hello and pose for a picture, I was literally tongue-tied. He was so charming and gracious, and said, “let’s go to his kitchen for the picture so as not to disturb the other diners.” His kitchen by the way was quiet as church with all of his staff, heads down, intently viewing the food items or plates in front of them.
That same evening, my husband and I were visiting Eataly and he spotted Emeril Lagasse, a chef from New Orleans who is well known from his TV shows. My husband insisted I get my picture taken with him. He was very gracious and posed for the picture and thanked me for my kind words of admiration. Bam! another chef photo for my collection. I also spotted Lydia Bastianich that evening, a co-owner of Eataly and also a well-known chef but she was moving too fast for me to get a picture.
His food was inventive and soulful and reminded us of our travels to Singapore and Vietnam. Of course I had to get my picture taken with him. He was very receptive to my request. Sadly the Spice Table is no more and Chef Ng has moved on to other ventures. In addition to chefs I would like to meet, my foodspirations include restaurants I would like to eat at and dishes I would like to make. My wish list consists of:
Noma in Copenhagen
Maisons-de-bricourt (Accommodations, Restaurant & Cooking School in Cancale, Brittany run by Olivier Roellinger a three star Michelin chef)
Alinea in Chicago
Per Se in New York
Mugaritz in San Sebastián
Arzak in San Sebastián