OK, it’s done. I no longer own my kitchen. I am officially a retiree. Yikes! Except that I will still take the occasional job, so don’t be shy — let me know if you have a fun group event you’d like to book, and would prefer to work with us. I will NOT be doing any more catering, at all, so don’t ask me for that. I will be able to bring groups into my erstwhile kitchen, and intend to do a job here and there, because I’ll miss it if I don’t. But, after 48 years of kitchen work, teaching and keeping the knives sharpened, I’m ready to slow down quite a bit.
Cook! Programs Summer Camp News
Summer camp slots are filling fast, and camp is simply moving around the block — so don’t worry, your kids still get to cook this summer with the great camp staff, but book your spots soon before it fills! Tracy has fully ownership and here’s where you’ll find the great line-up of camps for the summer, including two just-added new baking camps, as the original one sold out so fast (the photo below gives you a glimpse of the last day of baking camp). It will be in the same building, just on the 63rd St. side, away from the construction zone that our street has become, with safe drop-off/pick-up in the parking lot. The new kitchen for Cook! Programs is spacious, well equipped, and affords some opportunities that were not part of the program in my kitchen. Like grilling outside, for instance.
I will still write a newsletter. I want to stay in touch with all of you. Over the next month I will be updating the website, simplifying a bit. I will also be away a bit — we’ve a new grandson just born this morning, in LA — so the list of things to do with my time, besides starting to wind down my business, is long.
New Owner Intro
Ironically, the new owners of my kitchen echo this newsletter’s name — In the Kitchen Culinary (ITK). Doug Eng, the head of the organization, had a great kitchen in Sausalito, which he had to give up when the landlord wouldn’t renew his lease. He’s been searching for the right spot ever since, and my kitchen is perfect. Doug grew up in the biz, literally, and also does the same team building, cooking classes (there will probably be more of those open to the public), some catering, summer programs etc. that we’ve done. I am very happy to sell to him, and hope to refer lots of business to him.
Set aside some time the Sunday, May 7th for a party with us, both a retirement party for me, and an intro to Doug and ITK. We will be sending invitations shortly. We had to wait due to various travel plans, and to give Doug a chance to settle in — but the party will be a brunch, 11-2, and yes, there will be some opportunities to participate, in the spirit of ‘what we do’ every day (or did, in my case).
In the Market
Headliners are asparagus, artichokes, fennel, and bright red strawberries. Hens are laying more with the lengthening days, so lots of good eggs. Ample citrus including pomelos, mandarins, blood oranges and kara karas, lots of winter vegetables, Romaine lettuce, sturdy Little Gems, chicories. I saw cucumbers for the first time recently, to my surprise. The desert tomato guy is still at Grand Lake — his cherry tomatoes are like a taste of summer, and his big tomatoes are pretty good too. Plenty of reasons to come to the market! By the way, if you have a ‘picky eater’ dog, I’ll put in a plug for Prather Ranches’ dog food (for raw consumption). Our German Shepherd has digestive issues, and thrives on the stuff along with (white, Japanese) yams and some special wheat-free kibble made for the breed. What we won’t do for our ‘family members!’
Recipe of the Month
I am in the mood for a delicious asparagus salad. I make a bunch of different versions, it’s a very versatile vegetable. This one calls for a quick blanch in boiling water, and then a nice dressing, and pressing a hard-boiled egg through a sieve on top, and some garlicky bread crumbs. You could, if you want, add some crumbled crisp pancetta to the egg, or grate some bottarga (pressed fish roe) over all of it, or add some anchovy to the bread crumbs.