Boy am I a lucky girl. Next Wednesday, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves (maybe even donning whites) to learn the ropes alongside talented chefs in a working restaurant kitchen. And not just any kitchen. It’s the kitchen at one of the most respected restaurants in South Florida, if not the country. Right before dinner service.
As you may have heard, Chef Allen is now offering Chef for a Day classes, what he coins ‘reality cooking’ experiences, to us civilians. Ok, restaurant kitchens have encountered a reputation for being a little rough around the edges lately. You know, “if you can’t take the heat…” But one would be remiss to base expectations of this experience solely on the stuff of reality television and its ratings-hungry sensationalism (think hot-tempered Gordon Ramsay and the patron-ejecting antics of Marco Pierre White, whose new show The Chopping Block debuts tonight on NBC at 8 EST/7 CST.) I’m with the chef that made it cool to be the nice guy, so I know I’m in good hands.
We’ll also catch up with Chef Allen on his commitment to sustainable seafood and get a peak into its journey from sea to table, as he prepares for a weekend of educational activities in D.C. at the Smithsonian. According to the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program website, A Guide to Picking Wisely from the Sea will “explore the connection between a healthy ocean and the seafood that we eat.” A sure highlight will be the sold out Sustainable Seafood Luncheon with Celebrity Chefs, including discussion presided over by Food Network’s Alton Brown, where Chef Allen will prepare sauteed wild Florida shrimp with shallots, garlic and olive oil, with stone crab and butter grits with aged manchego cheese. Sunshine State, represent!
Be sure to check back on Thursday, March 19 for the full report…