inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #101 of 197: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 15 Oct 03 16:45
    
(dreaming of opening a restaurant with gower)

I'm still curious about your Private Chef work. How often do you get a
client for that sort of thing? And how does it work? Do you coordinate
with the customer on what the menu will be? Or is it entirely up to
you? Do you have to explore the contents of their kitchen before you shop
for the necessary ingredients? 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #102 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 15 Oct 03 16:54
    
The only bad thing about going to an Eric-created dinner is that we don't
get a chance to talk much at the table!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #103 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 15 Oct 03 17:30
    
Peeps, I never know when or how often clients will call me. It's
sporadic. People have to have the leisure to set aside four or five
hours for dinner, organize the whole thing, etc. LEt's say that I'm not
about to retire from the private chef income. Purely a side thing, one
I like a lot, from my PM editorial work.

No, I don't really coordinate with them about it. It's pretty much
omakase style (leave it up to the chef). It completely depends on what
I see that morning at the farmers' market and other markets--that's
what drives the menu--but I sometimes show them previous menus, just so
that they can get a rough idea on what to expect. 

And no, I don't normally go inspect the kitchen--I can work/improvise
in almost any kitchen, even studios . . . recall that I lived and
cooked in a series of Japanese kitchens, all of which were about the
size and sophistication of a medium-sized closet (I do, however, bring
my own knives). I will create vegetarian menus though--I like cooking
all-veg on occasion. Though, it must be said, the carnivorous clients
generally get fed better .... :^)

Yeah, I usually hang back in the kitchen, preparing the next dish,
while the diners merrily carry on; when the next one's ready, I'll
clear the previous dishes (which often means washing them too,
depending on the client's dish collection), then bring out the next
course and next bottle of wine. It's a really fun way to eat. PP
charges are usually in the neighborhood of $100, which typically
includes about ten courses, and all wine. 

Actually the wine aspect of the meal requires the most consultation
with the client; some like it hot/edgy/expensive, some go for value
wines (which I take a special delight in providing), and some just
don't want wine at all, though this practice is most discouraged! I
mean, this food is MADE for wine. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #104 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 15 Oct 03 17:59
    
PP = that which you do, Eric? Only $100? Give me a break!!!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #105 of 197: speedstickwolfers (chrys) Wed 15 Oct 03 18:16
    
PP= per person?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #106 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 15 Oct 03 19:02
    
per person.

Thanks Frako -- Values R' Us!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #107 of 197: Berliner (captward) Thu 16 Oct 03 02:08
    
This private chef thing is really interesting. Without, as they say,
opening the kimono too much, what's the oddest affair you've catered
(and why), and what was the best? Any notable disasters? 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #108 of 197: ... (maya) Thu 16 Oct 03 04:49
    
Don't you DARE mention my name or my kitchen, Eric.  <g>

> The only bad thing about going to an Eric-created dinner is that
> we don't get a chance to talk much at the table!

Yeah, that *is* kind of a bummer, isn't it?  I'm hoping we can become
good enough friends that we can cook together and I won't have to hire
him.  <g>  But until then, Joe will continue to be chased out of the
kitchen.

Eric, I'm logging in from Paris because I was reading this week's
"Pariscope" and thought you might be interested in the following.  As
usual, I keep pretending I'm you and what I would do if I were you, so
please just ignore me when you must.

BUT IF I WERE YOU, I would contact chief William Ledeuil of Ze Kitchen
Galerie, 4 rue des Grands Augustins, (01.44.32.00.32), or have my
publicist contact him.  Once a week, genial super-chef William Ledeuil
does the unthinkable and welcomes rank amateurs into his kitchen. 
They're there to experience his refined version of the cookery lesson
-- the taste workshop.  Classically trained, Ledeuil is an aromatics
junkie, and aims to show the layman HOW TO INCORPORATE ASIAN PRODUCTS
INTO EVERYDAY RECIPES [emphasis mine].  At Pariscope's particular
lesson, Ledeuil began with a talk-and-taste session based around a
panoply of herbs, fruits and Thai roots.  A lemon verbena and shizo
bouillon was then assembled from a whopping 20 ingredients.  Not an
easy one to whip up at home, but Ledeuil's flights of culinary passion
are nothing short of inspiring.

My fantasy is this:  you or your publicist send Ledeuil your book,
he's intrigued, he invites you to Paris to share your expertise, and
VOILA!!  Your private chefing becomes international.  <g>  If I spoke
better French I would take one of Ledeuil's lessons as Ze Kitchen
Galerie is near my Parisien apartment.  Next trip!!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #109 of 197: Berliner (captward) Thu 16 Oct 03 05:21
    
And just a quick mention for those not on the Well, we're still able
to get your questions and comments over to Eric if you e-mail us at
inkwell-hosts@well.com. We'll be here awhile yet, I figure. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #110 of 197: Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh! (Cubs fan) (cynthiabarnes) Thu 16 Oct 03 07:26
    
Eric, my local paper carried a nice review of your book from the AP
wire last night. No byline, sadly. Would you like a copy of it?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #111 of 197: Berliner (captward) Thu 16 Oct 03 07:46
    
(I think there's a way to track that wire copy down to its source,
Cynthia. Not quite sure what it is, of course...)
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #112 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Thu 16 Oct 03 11:56
    
$100 per person--that's more like it!

I'm looking at the photo of the kabocha salad (p. 26) and my stomach is
growling. I think that's on tap for a side dish in the next coupla days.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #113 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Fri 17 Oct 03 06:27
    
Off to Seattle's NW Bookfest this morning--with luck I'll have access
at <choco>'s house, and will report back. If not I do believe Seattle
has a net cafe or two.........
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #114 of 197: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 17 Oct 03 10:06
    
How exciting.  Good luck with the book there, and say hey to choco too.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #115 of 197: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 17 Oct 03 11:59
    
What a great discussion this has been. Hard to believe two weeks have flown
by so quickly!

Though our virtual spotlight is turned on another interview at this point,
you're welcome to continue here as long as you want, Eric. The topic will
remain open and we'd love to have you stick around.

Thanks for joining us, and thanks also to Ed Ward and Frako Loden for
asking such wonderful questions. Carry on!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #116 of 197: ... (maya) Fri 17 Oct 03 13:27
    
Yeah, good luck in Seattle, Eric, and let us know how it goes!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #117 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Fri 17 Oct 03 14:27
    
We're already planning to pack the crowd with hecklers, uh, fans...
:-)
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #118 of 197: speedstickwolfers (chrys) Fri 17 Oct 03 17:49
    
We want a report! And photos!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #119 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sat 18 Oct 03 00:12
    
Gee, I dunno.  I'd have to find a camera. ;-)
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #120 of 197: speedstickwolfers (chrys) Sat 18 Oct 03 10:59
    
When Eric gets back, I want him to comment of the tofu that comes in
the aseptic packages.  Good? Bad? 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #121 of 197: speedstickwolfers (chrys) Sat 18 Oct 03 21:10
    
Looks like David found a camera.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #122 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sun 19 Oct 03 08:48
    
Crap, I knew there was somewhere else I was gonna post a link.  Thanks
for the reminder :-)

http://www.noise-to-signal.com/archives/000334.html
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #123 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Sun 19 Oct 03 13:06
    
Nice photos!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #124 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sun 19 Oct 03 22:37
    
Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #125 of 197: ... (maya) Mon 20 Oct 03 02:39
    
I like the one where Eric looks like Barney Rubble!!  <g>
  

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