Sometimes in this life you have to shake your senses up. Step outside the doldrum of your routine and bring a little fear of the unknown into the equation. Currently I wage the battle with this thing called fear. I have walked a sure and steady path for years now. Sleep came easy and the bills were paid. Now I stand on the precipice of discovery, heartbreak and ultimately a very human experience. Leaving gardening and plunging into the fire of a culinary path for earnest and true.
I am bound for southeast asia in a few months to blow in the breeze and work outside my comfort zone. I am ready to taste and explore a world so vastly different from everything I have ever known. Food is my ticket, and baby I am ready to board that fuckin’ plane. A healthy dose of fear is my main baggage.
Food can make you sigh with pleasure, comfort your broken heart, evoke powerful memories and it can open your mind to horizons you never dreamed about. It can transport you through your senses to places you’ve never been. It can bring that element of fear right to your plate. I decided to work with silkie chicken as a symbol of this current tidal wave of fear. If your unfamiliar with silkie chickens they have a natural purplish black hue to their flesh. This is not what we typically want in our chicken which is generally chosen as a comforting food rather than a challenging food.
I wanted to maintain this color and deepen it to what you now know to be my favorite color, black, so I chose to smoke it. I paired it with ginger infused forbidden black rice, spicy pickled enoki mushrooms, pickled purple cabbage, pickled Quail eggs and served with a ginger spiked dashi broth.
Never settle for a life that leaves you wondering what you could have done. Step into the abyss and find out what is waiting down there in the dark of the unknown. In respect to my current mindset I name this dish the Phoenix, cause sometimes you have to burn everything to the ground for anything new to grow. And just to relate it to the garden path I have walked for so long, even the forest knows this. Only after a fire do we see such magical things as morels.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~ Frank Herbert, Dune