Cooking with my Father

16 Aug

Before having my daughter I worked as a professional pastry chef. I served hundreds of customers desserts each night. Desserts that I developed, tested and executed. I was a bundle of nerves on nights that a food critic was dining with us, or during the first few days serving a new menu. However none of that nervous energy can compare to the first few times I made dinner and dessert for my father.

My father is an incredible cook. He is an instinctive cook. I can explain the scientific basis of most cooking and baking techniques. How to manipulate the molecular components of ingredients to produce the desired result. My father can tell you what that feels like, what it smells like, what it sounds like. This used to be intimidating. As the years have gone on, I have become more sure and cooking with my father is something that I treasure. We work well together, I learn something new every single time and once in a while I am able to pass on a tip or trick to him.

When we were in Crescent we cooked lots of meals together, but our biggest collaboration was a meal to welcome my aunt to the beach. Dad broke down the fish, halibut and salmon. He pan seared the halibut after coating it in panko and he cooked the salmon under the broiler until it was medium rare. I made a tomato-caper jam to top the fish, a panzanella salad loaded with beautiful vegetables, some roasted, some raw. And sautéed carrots and green beans. My grandmother made a blueberry pie. A pie that she has been making for as long I can remember. A pie that deserves it’s own post. Every bite of the meal was a love song to the pacific northwest, to summer and to family.

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