I love you most of all.
I recently added this and some others to my print shop!
The other day I was talking to my coworkers about what we were most passionate about cooking. One said pasta, the other said meat, and after thinking about it, I realized vegetables are my favorite things to cook.
While I was at The Buttery, I wrote specials every day. It was my first real experience with cooking with local, organic produce, and within a few weeks of working there, I experienced a very particular joy of cooking that way. We had gotten a case of peaches for the simple reason that they were amazing and our local organic farm felt that we should have them, and I took that as a challenge, creating a salad around it for a busy Saturday night. By the end of the night, the entire case was gone and I was quite proud of it. My chef was happy because we sold an interesting dish at a profitable price and people really enjoyed it. Our customers were happy because they all got to eat these peaches at the very apex of their ripeness - it spent no time at all languishing in our walk-ins (A constant headache for chefs). Our servers were happy because they were getting positive feedback about the salad, and a dish good enough for people to remark on it is a surefire indicator of a good tip.
When we get shipments of vegetables from our co-ops in Lancaster, PA and Napa Valley, I usually end up crouching on the floor and rooting through the boxes tasting everything before I actually get around to putting them away. I love that vegetables can express the wisdom and passion of the people that grew it by their incredible variety and ability to evoke terroir. I like experimenting with ways to cook them that don’t get in the way of the flavors the vegetable has to offer on its own. And although it’s becoming a rarer experience, I like getting a vegetable I’ve never cooked before and figuring out a way to go about it, like when I first started at my current restaurant and we made a cheesy, rich dip with cardoons that managed to convey an Italian rustic feeling while tasting like artichoke dip and costing us way less than artichoke dip would.
I’ve always felt that Lucy’s illustrations capture a real warmth of feeling towards food - I actually just bought the above print - and I can’t wait to read Relish!