I can't believe how lucky I am.
I know a lot of people say that and then the drift of what they are saying, despite it's good intentions, comes off as maudlin, treacly, or downright sappy. Good luck and good fortune comes to those who make it, but it certainly helps to have some back-up in your corner to give you the support you need. This I know.
I am lucky to work, cook and create in an environment that allows me as much freedom as I could ever possibly want. Yes, I work in one of the most beautiful places in the world and it's true that my kitchen looks out over what is easily in the Top Five of all views from any restaurant kitchen anywhere. It is also true that I search out, and have brought to me, impeccably produce, grown locally and organically. The fish and poultry I use in my recipes is locally caught and grown and it's pedigree of freshness is unparalleled. These things contribute to my amazing good fortune.
But what makes the entire equation come together is the support and freedom I get, to do what I do. My boss is my biggest fan and one of my best friends and it is so rare that he has ever told me how or what or when to cook. I've never been great with authority, and I'm sure, NO, I know that much of the stress and many of the problems in previous restaurant incarnations were derived from my clashing with the powers that were. Now I wake up in the morning and there is no knot in the pit of my stomach caused by whatever run-ins I may have upon arriving at work. Rather, I wake up and think about the farm fresh food that will arrive that day and how it will combine with the beautiful things already in my refrigerators. This is a gift and I am so grateful for it.
This past Saturday night I had a small group for dinner and wanted to try out a few new things based on some new ingredients and also on a budding idea or two that I had been mulling over in my mind's palate.