Thursday, July 28, 2011

I said Havana Not Savannah

Last evening Fuchsia and I went to a top notch chef cooking demonstration. The demo was at a high end culinary store. The chef was preparing Cuban food. The air conditioner in the store was broken, so the heat was almost unbearable.

Watching the demonstration was fun. The chef was not used to being in the front of a large crowd. As it turned out the front row was filled up with restaurant groupies. They acted as if they were all personal friends with the chef. The chef was not chummy with them. Me and
Fuchsia sat in the second row. The chairs were hard and wooden. They became very uncomfortable after sitting on them for a very short time.

The chef admitted spending 40 thousand dollers on his cooking education but did not know how to use a fancy high end food processor. His groupies could not believe that. Some person sitting in the back row said that the chef had sous chefs for all the prep work no wonder he cannot use a food processor.

The owner of the restaurant was making virgin cocktails. They were so refreshing.
The Cuban chef made a skirt steak appetizer. It tasted sweet and meaty with just enough spice to make my taste buds jump up and say HALLELUJAH.

My friends who know me well, know I will eat almost anything except for fish, green beans and oxtail. Guess what else was on the menu? Fish - Alaskan halibut. The chef said the colder the water, the better the fish. I was already sweating because it was hot. The thought of eating fish triggered a panic attack, in turn I sweated even more. Breathe, Breathe, I will get through this.

I noticed the raw white fish coming out on cookie sheets. BREATHE.. BREATHE...
The chef said that Alaskan Halibut is very expensive but sustainable. The chef said he will be cooking some local bass very soon at his restaurant. (Oh I had better hurry over there to eat sea bass.)

He crusted the top of the fish and showed us how to pan fry it. The chef says put the oil in AFTER the pan is hot. How hot? his groupies said. You know its hot enough when you put the fish in it sizzles, if you don't get the sizzle your meat is ruined,the chef told them. His groupies argued with him and said that was to dangerous to put the oil in after the pan is hot. The chef agreed that the groupies were right it was dangerous to do it his way. He proceeded to tell us all about the burns he has achieved over the years. All that to say, he still heated the pan first then put in the oil.

The halibut was done. Time to taste it. I had to do it, I was blocked in, there were people to my right and left, I could not run away. I took a deep breath, told myself I could do this. I took a very small bite with my fork. The fish did not smell fishy. It flaked just perfectly. I put the fish meat in my mouth praying I would not gag. Hum, this fish is'nt so bad, maybe I will try it again. 2ed bite- Yes, its not bad at all. 3ed bite- you know this is pretty good, 4th bite- this fish is delicious. Wait a minute, I hate fish. Not this one. (I know you are all in disbelief right now.) I maybe tempted to try this fish it again someday.

I hope to go back to this store and watch more chefs.


KARNA said...

LOVE THIS...halibut is so pricey! $22 a lb or at the least $ is a very mild fish so I am happy you enjoyed it. I had a friend from Idaho who hated fish! When she drove down to CA with me when i came to care for Jeff we did a few things..she had never been over a bridge...we went over the Carquinez the Golden Gate the Oakland bay bridge and the San Rafael...she held her breath LOL...but was so happy. We went to Fisherman's Wharf and he made herself order fish n chips...she loved them..the fish was probably cod or haddock...anyway she ended up moving to Florida and LOVES almost all fish now so your tasty treat last night might well lead to sushi UNCOOKED hahaahaah :) Love you and thanks for your blog today! Were you at Havana? That's where Julie Flowers daughter Ashley works. She is one beautiful girl that's for sure.

KARNA said...

OH DUH i reread it and see it was at a culinary store the headline got me crazy i guess :)xoxox

ChaChaneen said...

Ha Ha - I lurve this! And I lurve fish! Actually what don't I lurve food related? Hmmm