rule #1

Rule number 1 of life: be friends with a professional chef. No matter where you live, you will want a chef on your list of best buds. You will get to taste some ah-mazing cuisine, will learn interesting words and phrases like “mise en place,” will get to see some wild things like entire severed animal legs, hoofs attached, lying on a counter like it is totally normal, and will definitely get to experience some really cool adventures, like going to a home winery.

The chef I am closest to is Chef Andre Bedouret. I have written about him before here. Chef Andre is a fabulous chef who I first met on an assignment when I was interning at D Magazine. One of his most successful students and good friend, Michael Scott {no, not the zany character from The Office}, was competing in a big chef competition. Little intern Katie nervously took notes of Michael’s prep work while Chef Andre yelled out things like “capiche?” and “do one more time–one more time of butter.” In my article I called him “a handsomely disheveled Frenchman” and have still never lived that comment down. He, luckily, decided to forgive me and has become one of my closest friends.

On Friday, Chef Andre and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and fought the traffic toward Allen, TX where friends of his live and let him finish his charcuterie {cured and dried, meats, like this}.

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We pulled up to a quaint little house on a small piece of land scattered with flowers and vegetables and rows and rows of grape vines. After getting a box of cured meat ready to hang and other supplies out of the trunk, we made our way to a little hut on the side of the yard. The inside was dim and cool, the perfect temperature and humidity for drying nets of meat into lonzino, coppa, and cured ham. It was a beautiful thing. Thankfully, Andre is enough of a ham {pun intended} to let me take these dorky pictures of him and his “children,” as he calls it. πŸ™‚

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{Telling his children to be good while he is gone. Editor’s Note: the more unique and strangely dedicated the chef, the better their cooking.}

On our way out, Chef Andre saw an opportunity to harvest some of the gorgeous asparagus. I have never seen vegetables so green and fat. Gorgeous, and perfect for a light dinner of asparagus and shaved Parmesan omelet.

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{please excuse the blurry phone photo}

If you don’t have a chef on your list of friends, head to your favorite restaurant and cozy up to one quick. They are some of the craziest, most fun, handsomely disheveled people you will ever meet.

And so it goes,
Katie

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