Notes from a Kitchen

I've been reading Notes from a Kitchen, a journey inside culinary obsession, a highly acclaimed two volume set by Jeff Scott and Blake Beshore. They focus on the ideation of food rather than recipes. These are some great books that ignite the imagination rather than direct it.

"Notes From a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession: is the first book of its kind to accurately portray the daily creative life of a world-renowned chef in a visceral, cinematic format. Never before has a cookbook focused more intently on who a chef is as a person and why they place their culinary passion and obsession before almost everything else in their lives."
As I was digging through some notebooks of mine I found some interesting drawings like the one below. I have 1000's of these interpretive sketches. I would rather draw out ideas than put them into writing. Drawing helps me visualize the idea or record a dish I've just eaten. You may ask, "why don't you just take a picture?" well, I do plenty of that but taking pictures is not nearly as engaging as drawing, plus if it's just an idea there isn't anything to photograph.

As I look at this drawing from about 8 years ago I remember it vividly. I was at the Ana Mandara restaurant in San Francisco, the first notes refer to a crispy Vietnamese roll with crab and shrimp served with lettuce to wrap them in, I can still taste the roll and the uncomplicated Vietnamese sweet & sour sauce it was served with. The sketch is depicting a dungeness crab cake that was baked in a split piece of green bamboo on top of banana leaves with radish sprouts, the crab cake was moist with a very slight scent of mint....Food memories are powerful! I will work on publishing some of my culinary sketches in the near future.

Piles of sketches, notes, and preliminary formulations......