I N T R O D U C T I O N
“Rezepte sind nur Rezepte . . . im Rahmen des Zumutbaren Sie sie ändern können.”
(“Recipes are only prescriptions . . . within reason you can change them.”)
Chef Tell’s recipe for making a star-bound chef/restaurateur went like this:
First, rise with the morning twilight. Visit the fish, meat, and produce markets daily to ensure your menu and daily ingredients are as fresh as possible. Chastise your vendors, if needed, for quality slippage in your last order, yet make them feel like they are part of your success.
Second, walk several miles daily within the same four walls. Regularly add water, salt, chicken stock, and splashes of wine to foods and to yourself. Even though you know it will take a toll on your body, taste everything you cook.
Third, ensure that your kitchen waitstaffs arrive on time, prepared and sober. Mix in your waitpersons, bartenders, hostesses, and account-ants. Keep them honest with your cash register—every day.
Fourth, bring the first, second, and third steps to a boil by simmering under low heat in the first few hours of the day. Gradually turn up the heat.
Fifth, repeat the routine 312* days a year, year after year, despite how you feel, as long as you make your patrons happy. (*Six days a week.) For super-star ranking add one more requisite: Culinary genius—
the capacity to take consumable ingredients and envision them into remarkable, repurposed foods, flavors, and presentations; the capacity to be avant-garde, innovative, iconoclastic, and visionary and, in Chef Tell’s case, funny.
Chef Tell followed the basic rules of cooking but he blazed new trails his way.
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