Alchemy is a chemical transformation of matter through air, earth, fire and water, a process characterized by melanosis (blackening), leukosis (whitening), xanthosis (yellowing) and isis (reddening), also known as nigredo (chaos), albedo (release, daybreak) and rubedo (intensity, sunrise); which means through the language of the opus magnum, alchemy is to cook, and specifically for these … Continue reading Alchemy In The Afternoon
The Magician (1952) by Rene Magritte where the fantasy of a human with four arms navigating table to mouth contains a question for our senses–is taste, along with our other senses, a fantasy, an illusion? This steak may not be a steak. We are familiar with questions about the veracity of our senses. They’ve been … Continue reading What Is Really In My Mouth? The Case For Cypher Over Socrates.
Our collective human memory reaches far back through many doors, many hallways and rooms, and alway we find, though never that first room, a place to cook and a place to sit down and eat with each other. In Homer’s the Odyssey, Odysseus portrays this action and place as the best life has to offer. … Continue reading Happy July 4th! Some Thoughts on Cannibalism For North Carolina.
It’s a dinner party. Wine passed down the table. Angels have appeared at Abraham and Sarah’s door, and as good hosts the old couple provide food and drink. And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lifted … Continue reading Night Thoughts For North Carolina
The first thing you notice about Pieter Aretsen’s painting A Meat Stall With The Holy Family Giving Alms (1551) is all the meat–an ox head with eyes staring at us, pig trotters on a cabbage leaf, whole side of a slaughtered pig split cleanly down the spine, a large ham shank, sausage, smoked fish, herring; … Continue reading Thinking About Who’s Sitting Down To Dinner In North Carolina
The number of guests at dinner should not be less than the number of the Graces nor exceed that of the Muses, i.e., it should begin with three and stop at nine. (Marcus Varro) I have a suckling pig in my refrigerator. Over the next three days I’ll narrate his transformation from corpse to recipe … Continue reading Cochon De Lait For The Three Graces, Day One
How does the Culinary Institute of America teach hospitality? This is what John W. Fisher has to say in At Your Service: A Hands-on Guide to the Professional Dining Room. To help bring the concept to life, I begin with an example that draws upon the students’ own memories and emotions. I ask them to … Continue reading The Dinner Party 3: “When Shall We Live If Not Now?”