Welcome to Cook & Dagger!

  For the inaugural post on Cook & Dagger, I thought I would talk a little about how this whole thing got started.  In later posts, I'll elaborate a bit on why I am starting an supper club-cum-underground restaurant, my philosophy on food and eating.

My interest in food relatively recently started to rise very quickly after tasting a dish from the Alinea cookbook. It was prepared by a friend in Houston while we were in a PhD program together. It radically changed the way I think about what a dish could be and what food could do.  Sure, it was a visceral experience, but that's true of eating generally, I think.  What worked for me was that it not only engaged my senses but, through them, my mind as well.  Prior to that experience, I was skeptical of these newfangled techniques he was talking about...spheres out of food...huh?  After that, I was on board, 100% and then some.

I quickly ordered a basic spherification kit from WillPowder and started experimenting (photos here). Soon after, I got the Alinea cookbook and jumped into the deep end, preparing a 7 course meal for a few friends.  While the two days of cooking were highly stressful, I had some help from aforementioned friend.  The response was incredible.  I heard things that seemed to come from the same feelings that I had with that first dish.  I did it!  Word spread about the dinner, and I was invited (commissioned) by another friend to have a dinner, on their dime.  I jumped at the opportunity and decided I was going to go bigger -- 12 courses this time, and 8-10 people.  By myself.  While 2 of the courses weren't presentable, I pulled off 10 courses in 2.5 hours (some photos here).  Another success under my belt, and I knew this is something I was having fun doing and I was passionate about it.

Since then, I left Houston with M.A. degree in hand (yes, I finished all my coursework, but did not feel a dissertation was in me).  My focus has been on learning fundamentals, trying new things, and practice, practice, practice.   Why blog? I see it as a way to document my progress as a self-made cook.  In part, this is to serve as an inspiration to myself.  To see where I've been and how far I've come.  Cooking offers many opportunities for failure, so I also think this may be an inspiration to others who want to allow their reach to exceed their grasp.

I'll post experiences and experiments with food and techniques.  The blog will also serve as the central focus of a supperclub called Cook & Dagger  (e.g. announcements about upcoming dinners, previews of dishes, menus, etc.)

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