We've all got one; a group of friends who get together and talk about food, share recipes and techniques and generally shoot the shit. Ours just happens to be foul-mouthed and unabashed. This blog is a collaboration of authors (even occasionally male!) who share a love of booze, profanity, food and bitching.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Not your average home cook.

Right now I'm reading "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain, lent to me by the wonderful Dez. It's a really great book so far, and I heartily recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for food and snark. But one chapter really tickled my fancy, where he described what sets a professional cook at a restaurant apart from your average home cook. These are a few of the things that he listed as being common to necessary in restaurant kitchens that you typically don't see in your average home:

- fresh garlic
- shallots
- squeeze bottles of oil, wine, coulis, etc.
- a good chef's knife


Garlic, shallots and oh, lemons, too! Because I will zest a lemon into practically any pasta or salad. Which I just did, along with frying up some of the shallots crispy for the greek salad I had for lunch. Speaking of oil...

Olive oil and peanut oil, arranged mise en place on the back of the stove, even. For when I need a drizzle of oil while I'm cooking.

This baby has been through years of heavy-cooking and eight months of peeling and chopping hard squashes daily for a foster iguana.

Now yes, I realize the book was written ten years ago before the foodie craze and suddenly every housewife wanted to be Rachel Ray. I also realize, as my husband put it, "No one would ever call you an 'average' home cook." And I've also met the very home cooks he's referring to. My own mother, when I ask if she has garlic, thinks I'm referring to garlic powder. I've been at house parties before and offered to help with prep, and when I asked for a knife to dice an onion have been handed a steak knife.

But I thought it was pretty damn amusing reading through his checklist of things that set restaurants apart as though I were reading through my own grocery list.


  1. You mean like my mom's house? 'Cause yeah, garlic powder and Lawry's seasoned salt were the only seasonings in the house.

  2. My mom has an entire spice cabinet so full bottles will fall on your head when you open it, but it's the same four or five spices; lemon pepper, garlic salt, Italian seasoning... In quadruplicates. She cooks so seldom that she forgets she has things and goes out to buy new. I'm convinced she has lemon pepper as old as I am stashed in the very back.