All Hands On 2014

10 Jan

“To cook is to lay hands on the body of the world”-John Thorne, Simple Cooking.

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Photo by Landon Nordeman

I shotgunned this photo on my Reagan-era camera phone during a very late shift at Bouchon. I’m sorry it looks like it’s coated in Vaseline.

This photo, hanging in the pastry kitchen, was an inspiration and an invitation. Taken at what’s considered the clasique-est of Parisian bistros, L’Ami Louis, it’s complete excess. The chef is buckling a little under those pommes frites. You can see it in his face, along with this boyish smirk. Like a kid who’s bringing home a squirrel to keep as a pet, or the little boy who’s snuck one too many cookies from the cookie jar. Complete abandon, much like this sound-as-a-pound man painted by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

"M Boileau Au Cafe"

“M Boileau Au Cafe”

I love this guy. He’s stopping himself from loosening his pants long enough to smile for a painting, his eyes glazed with contentment. I don’t know what he had, but it had to have been good. My roommate and I had this hanging in our own kitchen during senior year of college as a reminder to cook awesomely.

As the first week of 2014 is over and gone, I’ve been reflecting on last year and finalizing my resolutions. I’d like to keep this quotation and photograph in mind. Yoga often stresses an intention, something to keep in mind to maintain focus, and the quotation could be a great guide as 2014 progresses. There are many hand-fulls of new dishes to try and places to see, so while January is a time of doldrums and diet cleanses, it’s as good of a time as ever to lay hands on the world. Time to get cooking.

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