Some of the best chefs I admire have all had a dark patch. Their stories and struggles are so inspirational, not only for how much they have endured, but how focused they were to get that job, to do something they love for a living. Its not easy to do what you love and put bread on the table, in fact its a rarity, and you have to be helluva lucky! But these untrained chefs, their visions and determination, I am blown away! From washing dishes to Michelin stars, from rehab to James Beard awards, it goes without saying- anything is possible if you are passionate and are willing to work for it.
Jamie Bissonnette’s story of how he overcame his broken-ness (as he says it), Chris Consentino and his struggle with mental health. Philip Speer, perfect example! He really proved that cooking can drag you “in” and take you “out” of it as well.
See thats the thing about cooking. It will make you really, really work. That goes for any form of art, but I will refrain from talking about other art forms now!
There are a few chefs who have been depressed and over-stressed by work. And surprisingly, it is cooking again, doing what they love that has got them out of it. No doctor, no meds! We might have seen a few struggle and their moments of glory as well. But I am always inspired by humble people, who narrate their hard days with a twinkle in their eye, smiling about it and feeling proud.
In conclusion, its all about a surprise in the end of the journey, a good one! Thats what I have on my plate today!
This is a very simple sesame sauce, similar to tahini, but way tangier and nuttier; served with a roasted cauliflower and some pomegranate seeds. The surprise in the sauce- some sort of Umami for sure!
To make the sauce:
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
a couple of drops of fish sauce
1 tb lemon juice and zest
1 cup water
salt and pepper
Toast the sesame seeds till golden brown in colour and fragrant. Add the water and let it cook for an hour so till the seeds are spongy and almost translucent. Let it cool. The lemon- add as much as you want, I like it rather tangy. I prefer to use the big ones, locally called gajanimbe. These I feel are sweeter and have a certain floral scent when you use the zest and are absolutely delicious! Once the sesame seeds are cooled, blend them till very smooth, add the rest of your ingredients. You can add olive oil for more flavour.
To cook the cauliflower, just grill it in the oven, or deep fry it floret side down for at least 5-8 minutes. If grilling in the oven, remember to brush the florets with oil every 2- minutes. This process might take longer. You will be looking for a golden brown colour and tender stems. Season it with salt and whit pepper. The texture is firm but tender and it just peels off, like meat falling off the bone. I liked this texture better than mushy cauliflower, and the fried layer on the top adds more flavour and texture. Serve as desired, either combined or separate. Garnish with pomegranates and more lemon!
I’ve never clicked a picture of a tunnel, but somehow felt this fits well (?) And I will wait to see something like this at the end of the tunnel! So bright!!