Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Mind of a Chef

So here's a confession: I watch too much TV. Whenever I'm home alone and need some background noise, I switch on the TV. Whenever I have a block of time where I can potentially pick up a book, I pick up the remote instead. I actually confessed to my sister a few weeks ago that I fear that I'm in danger of becoming an illiterate. I haven't read a book from cover to cover since this year began. And this from someone who used to read a book a month! (By the way I do read a fair bit just not books. I read mostly news articles, op-eds, and blogs. The books I do read, thanks to my son, mostly tend to be about a hippo who has no friends or about a bunch of escaped zoo animals that sneak into the zookeeper's house but, improbably enough, not for the purpose of eating him).

The thing is that when you have a part time job and a two year old, you just don't have that much time or energy to read. When I do have a few hours of free time, normally during that blissful block between when the little one goes down for the night and I pass out on the couch with my glasses on, I prefer to watch something light and short on TV. It's relaxing to sit and let your mind just go blank and also to share that experience with someone else. After all, reading is not exactly a social activity or something you can share with someone unless you're reading aloud or your partner is reading the same book as you and you discuss it with each other afterwards. So, instead, the Professor and I bond by watching TV.

BUT first we have to decide what to watch which gets a little tricky. First of all, it has to be relatively short. Long gone are the days when we can devote 2 solid hours to a movie without falling asleep in the middle of it. Nowadays, we need something that's 30-45 minutes long (and no commercials please!). I also don't want to watch something dark, depressing or deep just before bed so nothing with zombies, serial killers, or zombie serial killers. Then, of course, we have to both be equally interested in whatever we're watching. Tricky indeed.

Recently, we've discovered a show that meets all of our criteria, so I thought I'd share it with you guys. The Professor and I share a love of cooking and learning about food and we're equally fond of chef Anthony Bourdain. I've read one of his books and the Professor and I have seen every episode of No Reservations and his newer show, Parts Unknown. A few weeks ago, I discovered that one of his new endeavors is a show on PBS which features different chefs from around the world and tries to learn a bit about what inspires them and how they come up with new dishes. The show is called, 'The Mind of a Chef' and it's available on Netflix. We've found it both educational and entertaining. The best thing about the show is that it inspires you to get creative and daring in the kitchen which is great if you've been in a cooking rut like I have.

So check it out if you like and then come back and let me know what you thought of it. And if you have a recommendation for something we should add to our Netflix queue, please share!

P.S. I also really enjoyed reading this recent interview with Anthony Bourdain. I'd love to be his dining companion one day!

(Photos of Momofuku, restaurant of chef David Chang who is featured in Season 1)

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