While not exactly following my planned trajectory, things seem to be going pretty okay down here. I have not even finished unpacking, what to speak of jam making, when a great opportunity just sort of came my way today. As the title of this posting suggests (or blatantly states), today I was hired as a personal chef.
I will be cooking twice a week for a single man who lives nearby and is a complete organic, whole foods devotee. He emailed me his likes and dislikes (based mainly on Ayurveda) and tonite I talked to him in depth about his tastes and preferences. We are pretty much on the same wavelength about things. Although he has only tasted my jam, he is bringing over a fortress of raw, dry ingredients for me on Wednesday nite so that I can organize for my Thursday cooking. Thursday and Monday will be my cook days. Personally, I think I won him over by my aversion to plastic, aluminum and teflon. But he said he was happily surprised that I did not object to his super healthy requests of whole wheat and whole spelt, sucanat and agave nectar and organic everything right down to the herbs and spices.
Why would I object? Like I told him, I don’t think he expects my cooking to taste like mama used to make. That is, unless your mama made caramel sauce with sucanat and organic barely malt syrup. His tongue is trained to appreciate the healthiest, most vital and nutritive version of familiar favorites. Basically, his taste buds are working off a whole different paradigm.
After reading through his very thorough two-page manifesto of likes and dislikes, I asked him what he wanted me to cook this Thursday. Basically, he is going to buy all the fresh stuff (veggies, dairy products, fruits) and I will just wing it on the spot. Kind of like what I did tonite. I was out all afternoon with the kids and arrived home the same time as my husband. Everyone was hungry but I still hadn’t really done a good stock-my-larder kind of food shopping. So, once again, I just pulled it out of my…oven.
Tonite’s dinner was Protein Parmigiana with a side of Almost Vegan Pasta Primavera and Tossed Salad. Protein Parmigiana consisted of chickpeas (canned) mashed and mixed with tahini, salt, hing, paprika, oats, semolina and celery pan fried in olive oil and then baked with a tomato sauce and topped with provolone cheese (I guess I should call it Protein Provolone). The Almost Vegan Pasta was a half a brick of tofu thrown in the food processor with soft butter. Some hing, salt, dried basil and freshly ground black pepper were mixed in, as well as some blanched broccoli florets. Tossed Salad was a basic mix of lettuce, carrot, celery and tomato drizzled with a tahini/lime juice dressing. Just make the pasta whole wheat and the salad organic and I would have an improvised meal fit for my new client.
Anyone else in the Gainesville/Alachua area looking for a personal chef or caterer to create vegetarian meals suited to your every dietary whimsy, just give me a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org.