How do you classify yourself?

TALKING SHIT

How do you classify yourself?

22 APRIL 2016

I was asked a question this week while speaking about cooking with some friends over Jamaican oxtails. By the way, it is ridiculous how fucking expensive ox-tails have gotten. The fuck. Anyway, I was asked, "How do you classify yourself, do you call yourself an amateur chef/cook?" I cook at least four days a week, even when in Paris. Most weeks I cook almost every day. Some days I cook twice and sometimes thrice. Not to mention the late night baking experiments I have recently begun to undertake. I am NO amateur. I'm simply a home chef. Well versed in comfort food, BBQ and tasty shit.

A view of Germany from Basel Switzerland - Cooking Shit in Paris
A view of Germany via Switzerland, in the Autumn

Since my first visit to Paris in 2012, I've slowly started to come out of my cooking comfort zone. Trying new techniques, using ingredients I have never thought to use and going down new culinary tracks. There is something to be said about the impact of cultural stimulation on some people. For me, being able to witness new cultures and new ways to do things has stimulated me in many creative ways. From the major differences to the minor, it has helped turn me into a much better chef.

As I mentioned earlier I have been trying some new shit the last 4 years. Number one, I now know how to cook the perfect rice. I'll bring that up at a later date. After three tries I now know how to make kick-ass lemon bars. (This recipe for lemons bars from I Am Baker is awesome. They really are the best lemons bars as the title suggests.) Soft pretzels (Thanks Cook with Jack) are my new jimmy jam. I use them as buns for tuna salad, good shit. I've also used saffron for the first time a couple weeks ago. Very exciting, I know.

That brings us to this blog. In the near future, I will share those new experiences that I will be having in Europe in about 40 days. Hopefully, you'll like it if not that's ok too.

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What is Cooking Shit in Paris?

ABOUT SHIT

What is Cooking Shit in Paris?

When on vacation most people don't even want to think about cooking. Especially when in the food Mecca that is Paris. With so many boulangeries, patisseries, cafes, bars and boucheries around with some of the most amazing food why would one cook? I say fuck that. I love cooking, I'm not a pro but I think I'm pretty damn good. My wife and I try to make it to Paris once a year for at least a month. Staying someplace for that long while eating out can be a bit expensive, so unless you're Scrooge McDuck or a kept man/woman, you got to do some cooking.

View of Germany from Basel Switzerland - Cooking Shit in Paris
Montmartre carousel at foot of Sacre-Couer

Even if I was that well off I would still cook on occasion and spend that money on some of the best ingredients in the world. I would probably lose my shit if I a week went by that I didn't cook at least once. I mean how can I resist when at most any time in Paris you can run into a farmers market and find some of the freshest ingredients.

And then LARDONS. For the uneducated this amazing thing is bacon chopped into little bits, perfect for cooking with chopped onions and scallions and serving with a baguette, butter and tomatoes. By the way, fresh butter from the marché, one of the most amazing things in the world. But I digress. This year was the fourth year my wife and I spent part of our summer/fall in Paris. We normally stay for 3 months with stops in other countries (I mean it's so easy) in between. Before our trip this year I came across the Texture App , a magazine subscription service. So I downloaded mad amounts of the food-themed magazines they have available (Food Network, Bon Appetite, Saveur, etc.).

So, while I have Paris at my disposal I will use her to cook some hopefully amazing meals. Well, honestly I'm back in Miami now, been back for a couple months now. I planned to do this while still in Paris, but I drank a lot of wine and had so much fun I really couldn't be bothered. I will post what I made while in Paris and continue posting what I make here in Miami until my next trip to Paris. I'll also throw up some guides on buying things in Paris for the non-French speakers, which I am one of, but I have been able to get everything I need with a little common sense and help from others (Google, friends, English speaking store employees).

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