The Elegant Chef
The Elegant Chef
Loneliness is like a soup without ingredients.
Like a soup without stock; clouded water too deep for its own depth.
Sometimes, for the determined chef, it is possible to steal ingredients from others. Sometimes, it isn’t. As a broth, it is both tepid and disappointing and will leave an unpleasant odour in any kitchen. It has the odour of mildew, of frustration, of the stink of a dawn colder than winter twilight. A dawn that sparkles with frost. A million blinking eyes beyond the curtain.
The determined chef understands that a soup can be made in many different ways. A determined chef understands about varying ingredients.
Some experiences are like potatoes; they are dug from the closeness of their earth, surprised in the light. Undressing them of their jacket can be so wonderful for so long. But sad when there is no more undressing.
Some experiences are like parsnips; they are sweet and shy and not as popular or as sought after as other ingredients. They have a fragrance that brings to mind autumn and tears and freshly laundered sheets.
Other experiences are like tomatoes; they are big and bold and beautiful. They are often best when they are just on the downturn of ripe, alive with sunshine and summer.
Occasionally, there are experiences that are like chillies or garlic. They are exotic, exciting and remain inside your skin for many days longer than the experience itself may last.
The best soup is supported by an excellent stock. It is made from the quiet distillation of previous experiences. Praise can be heaped like a harvest festival when the stock is nourishing. Unlike other ingredients stock is an unknown quantity until the soup is made.
Only then does the soup wake itself up and dream the day. Sometimes the stock has brought a bitter quality to the soup that no one foresaw. Sometimes the stock is overpowering. And sometimes, only sometimes, the stock you choose is the best one for the soup.
The elegant chef chooses stock with intuition. Hints can arrive on a breeze and moments can be tasted if the chef wishes hard enough. Or imagines long enough.
Loneliness, is like a soup without ingredients.