I am all by myself out front at the restaurant tonight. That is not exactly proving to be a hardship because we are exceptionally quiet. We were looking like having a reasonable night but then the phones started ringing with cancellations and we've gone backwards numberwise dramatically - as you do sometimes. I blame it on the inclement weather and try not to take it too personally, while reminding myself to use the time to do other productive things, like getting this letter written!!
Always a reminder that no matter how long you may be in business you should never take anything as a given - no two nights are ever the same. And that's OK!
May even get the chance to delve some more into ' Salt, Fat, Acid,Heat ' a cookbook by Samin Nosrat, which I've been recommending in cookschools recently as one of the best I've ever read. And given the number of cookbooks that we've added to our library over the years that is intended, deliberately, as a very high note of praise. She writes beautifully, and explains the technical aspects of cooking in a manner that makes it both approachable and understandable. I had many 'Aha' moments as I read through the first two chapters on salt and fat - it's been a most enjoyable reading exercise so far. The foreward is by Michael Pollan and he's been one of my food hero's since forever, and Samin worked at Chez Panisse for her first professional cooking job. That gives her serious cooking cred in our eyes, because the cookbooks from that estimed restaurant have been a go to resource for inspiration many, many times over the years. So all told, excellant stuff.
(In fact the Chez Panisse cookbooks were some of the earliest we purchased and now look very disreputable, partly from the amount of use they've had but also because a dog we had at the time took a specific interest in chewing them. Could never figure what it was about those books in particular.)
It's cold outside tonight - and as a result I've actually turned on the heating just to create a more cosy atmosphere. Feeling the need to do that has served as an apt reminder that summer is slipping away, and that we need to look ahead to dates for the Autumn Cookschool series, which are now all up on the website.
Once that series is completed we will also do a repeat of the Sauce Series which we've done in previous years, and that series is intended both for those who want to come for the first time, and equally for those who'd like a refresher. Rick covers a huge range of sauces in that class - right across the spectrum from savoury to sweet, and classic French, Italian through to Asian influences so there's alot of information shared.
Those dates too, are now up on the website, and bookings for either or both series can be made on the website. We can't take phone bookings for classes and should you have any queries, best to contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the recommendation of one of our wonderfully enthusiastic cookschool attendees, we went over to the Mt Maunganui Farmers Market ( in the carpark) last Sunday specifically to meet Lorenzo from Dreamcheese. A delightful Italian who emigrated with his family two years ago, and a chef by trade, Lorenzo is now making a range of Italian cheeses - mainly fresh ones from cows milk, and selling them at the market. Well worth a visit. We stood and chatted for ages, and bought lots of cheese - all of which have been used most enthusiastically.
Some of the cheese styles we were familiar with, and some we weren't. All of them were however delicious, very reasonably priced, and we learnt lots in our discussion.
The taleggio was my standout favourite, and was used on one of the pizza's made for Hannah's 'welcome home from Godzone' dinner. Sent Courteney, who is now back in America, a photo just to point out what they were missing and even she was impressed by the look of the pizza! Time for that woodfired oven methinks!!
Ah well - with everyone now gone, its time to venture out into the wet, and scoot across the carpark to a house that will be cold I bet! Hannah was ensconced on the couch when we came over to the restaurant, working her way through the myriad emails that had arrived in her absence down south, so I doubt she'll even have especially noticed the weather.
We hope to catch up in the not too distant future. Live happily!!