Dinners I Dream Of by our Table Guest, ChichaJo

By Guest on 6 May, 2007

Because I am a novice cook, just adventuring happily, but also haphazardly, in my kitchen, I don’t usually cook for anyone I don’t know very well. Cooking to impress is too stressful, and I prefer feeding my immediate family and friends…people to whom I can say, in case of any culinary mishap, “Ok, we’re ordering pizza!”
In a horribly selfish double standard, I love being fed, especially by people who love food – and that means eating, preparing, cooking, buying, and everything else that goes with this obsession. I relish the care these people shower on their food, eager to explain every part of the process to you, up to the point of where they got their ginger, and oh-how-fresh it was in the market that morning. They weave a delicious spell through their stories, but most importantly through their food…in which all this dedication is evident…a love you can actually taste.

So, at whose table do I dream to dine?

Masayoshi Takayama – Iconic chef of Masa in Manhattan, famous for his sushi and his care in preparing only the best. Sushi is one of my favorite dining experiences…an experience that is dependent on the absolute quality of only a few ingredients, and a master’s talent in putting them together. Sublime in its simplicity. For this dinner it would just be Masa, me, and my husband (because he loves sushi as much as I do).

Jamie OliverHe is such a boy! He has so much energy and enthusiasm, and passion for food. And I must admit, I love the way he speaks…puts me in a trance. He seems like the kind of guy that would throw really fun dinner parties. Not wild-dance-on-tables-topless fun, but good-old-shimmying fun. I’d love to have my family over to dinner with his.

Ferran Adria – The mad scientist/chef behind El Bulli. Pushing the envelope of how we understand and experience food and flavor. Eating with him would be nothing short of an adventure into the far reaches of the food galaxy. I admire how he challenges us to question how our food should look, feel, and taste.

An Italian nonna from the countryside of Northern Italy– Professional chefs are great (and I have already chosen my share above) but eating authentic, homemade food, prepared by someone who probably has never used exact measurements, using a recipe handed down through generations…well, that is a whole other level of gastronomic experience. Oh, and we should dine al fresco.

My great grandfather – For paella. People say he made the best, standing over the paellera, ladle in one hand, wine in the other…a swig for him, a swig for the paella. I never got to meet him but he sounds like my kind of cook!

And for dessert:

Marie Antoinette – All manners of French sweets in obscene quantities. Costume balls. Versailles. Oh yes…let me eat cake!




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  • MAY 5, 2007 11:01 AM

    wysgal said...

    No Tony Bourdain?!? When I confess my crush on Jamie Oliver, I still get raised eyebrows. =)

  • MAY 6, 2007 10:54 AM

    joey said...

    Ferran knocked him out of the top 5...because I couldn't think of a reason for Tony because I wanna! Hahaha! :)

    As for Jamie, he is a livewire...enough in my book to induce crushness :) But seriously, he looks like so much fun!

  • MAY 6, 2007 7:24 PM

    katrina said...

    You're always such fun to read, Joey! :-) I think Jamie Oliver's charming too, and the accent is adorable! But I'd still pick Bad Boy Bourdain for my Top 5. He doesn't even have to cook; he could just choose where we'd eat, then entertain me with his caustic wit.

  • MAY 7, 2007 5:38 AM

    M.Tan said...

    Thomas Keller and Mario (yes, I'm your neighborhood batali stalker). And I will gladly wash David Lebovitz's ice cream maker just for a taste (or maybe a pint) of his salted caramel ice cream.

  • MAY 7, 2007 10:01 AM

    Socky said...

    I'm with you on Jamie Oliver. The lisp, the lisp!

  • MAY 7, 2007 10:56 AM

    Franco said...

    Yes, he has the accent. Yes, he has the boyish charm. Yes, he has the bang/zoom kind of energy.

    But ladies don't forget, Jaime Oliver can cook. I believe in this age of the celebrity chef, he helped make cooking more accessable to everyone and anyone. Cheers to Jaime.

    As for Bourdain, you just love him because he does, says and eats whatever he wants.

    And Joey, we were surprised that you didn't have any pinoy chefs on your list. Don't the chefs here tickle your fancy?

  • MAY 9, 2007 1:51 AM

    joey said...

    Hi Katrina! Thanks! :) I think I would pass out if I actually met Bourdain, hehe...

    Mila! Keller was also someone I was thinking of! Did you read The Reach of a Chef?

    Hi Socky! That is exactly it! The lisp! Adorable :)

    Franco, I'm with you, Jamie can cook (aside from being totally adorable). I love his cooking style and the almost "nakakagigil" energy he puts into his food. He has definitely made cooking more accessible...especially to the kids he teaches. Plus, (another reason why I chose him, hehe) I think he throws great parties :) Yes, the chefs here also "tickle my fancy", it's just that I figure if I really wanted them to make me a meal, they would be much easier to stalk! Haha :)

  • MAY 12, 2007 1:11 PM

    christine said...

    Great list, Joey! I don't think I could have picked a more diverse bunch myself. :)