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fuel for the soul
fuel for the soul
Leon Buenviaje

What do chefs like to eat? Ive asked just about all the chefs i know and some Ive never cooked for, it was alarming at some points, scary- mostly entertaining. Well for starters; the time of day,Alone or off with family and how many hours worked on the job ,plays a role.Service intensity gets added in to the pot, i.e. rush duration, server errors, line malfunctions, utility technician (dish dog) tenacity or lack of will distort the critical path. Therefore, it depends somewhat. A chef could for instance eat bacon ( burned during prep due to fatigue) over jasmine rice, with ketchup and Sriracha and do the happy dance mid morning, void of the flashbacks from the previous night, when he was thumbing through the 7-ELEVEN for junk-food at 2a.m.-sideswiping the cold sandwiches and chips isles.(I love Funyuns) Fond memories, Sort of. Instant ramen is a guilty pleasure for many, As is "take out" in so many food genres. Box Pho, Junk-food, greasy spoons, and craft beer is ranked pretty high. Dirty subs, piled tall and with every condiment imaginable, An ode to Jackson Pollock.Chefs love food,new techniques, modern interpretations,classics,fusion, comfort, exotic-ethnic, junk, especially when someone else makes dinner. Chefs want what they cant get at home as much as anyone else. Yes, one may think that with such a critical palette, chefs would consume Foie Gras with fine sauces- with fancier names, and a traveling translator to explain to us the vision and wording of this gourmet plate.Please Pass the substance over style. I have a good friend, an old-school Japanese sushi master who loves pasta , Mediterranean and rustic Italian cuisines. I laughed cause i can inhale Japanese cuisine, raw or cooked; to the point of familial intervention, I find Japanese cuisine simply balanced,beautifully complicated and something i lack patience to create. My friend , chef and restauranteur wanted " red sauce and linguine with mussels" . Cynically I asked " well , how about meat balls and spaghetti?" I called him crazy and heckled his hair cut, and carefully made him his pasta. I know why he wanted it. In this industry, many perceive pasta like chicken, mundane and over priced. My Friend, the serious Japanese Chef, loved pasta. It was comforting, someone else prepared it and it was something he couldn't get often or prepared at his restaurant.I don't make sushi. I love Sushi. I still thumb through junk-food isles at a convenience store at 2 am, eyeballing that glazed doughnut with a layer of chocolate and sprinkles. I could make it. I don't. I still want it.