Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Further Adventures Of The Accidental Chef

When we left our heroine in San Francisco, she was in her kitchen at 1:00 am rolling out a pie crust, loving her job but beginning to regret her dating choice. And with good reason....

The butler did it. The madcap socialite and her husband were in Europe that summer and yes, I was dating the son. The butler didn't like opening the front door to the heir and coming downstairs to fetch the cook. This went on for several months with me laughing off the butler's increasingly stern reprimands and veiled threats. Until one night he did it. Fired me that is.

So I packed my bags and left, flew home to Michigan to lick my wounds but quickly returned. I was hungry for more food.

I thought perhaps my days of domesticity were over so I applied at restaurants for any kitchen position. I was hired, rather unwillingly, at a small French restaurant run by a Swiss chef. He wasn't hot on the idea of a woman in his kitchen, but he gave me a shot. Soon I was slicing 25 lb bags of onions, whipping gallons of cream, ( once into butter, oops) slicing off my fingertip into a 5lb basket of mushrooms ( and the ER was surprised I hadn't brought it in with me, mushroom slice, fingertip, who can tell). I was layering baking tins with slices of barding fat and making pate campagne.

During work we drank pitcher after pitcher of iced mint tea to assuage our thirst and after work we drank glasses of wine and ate slabs of my pate. We went dancing, camping and ate out together on Sunday nights. I once was lost in a ghost town in Arizona, now I had discovered my vocation, a new family and the reassuring presence of a knife in my hand.

Now if I could only get near a stove to start cooking....


  1. I want slabs of your pate, now.

  2. hi jane

    you have a way of making working in restaurant kitchens so fun. i must have been in the wrong kitchens!


    ps ~ continue please.

  3. Thanks for continuing and dont stop now! I am loving this - there is a book in you yet young lady! Sinead x

  4. Life in small chumks, As soon as i remember more:)

    Marie, I believe you make some pretty delish pate your own self.

    Janet, It always was fun. We should have worked together!

    Sinead, keep calling me young lady and I'll dedicate it to you!

  5. So why are you in flowers now when obviously you should still be in the kitchen?!!! Your love for it shines through in every post you write about food.
    I am coming for dinner on Saturday but you can leave the mushrooms of the menu!!!!!!!
    xxx Julienne

  6. i loved reading anything san francisco and cooking world.

    happy to visit today, my friend
    kary and teddy

  7. "we drank glasses of wine and ate slabs of my pate"


  8. Jane, I think the book might now be writing itself: fabulous title, The Accidental Chef, a plethora of funny, colourful, unique and sometimes hilarious anecdotes, love interest,food, animals and stunning locations. And, I'm wondering, amazing, milestone, recipes woven in - how gorgeous would that book be??! Come ooonnn, do it! Only wondering why flowers took the place of cheffing, but guess it may be something to do with wanting time to enjoy life outside work??