Monday, January 21, 2013

Smokin' 2

Oh, baby. I'm cookin' now!
Marc is always tough to surprise with a Christmas or birthday gift.
Either he'll buy what he wants himself a few days before the event or he guesses/finds/peeks at whatever I've hidden for him.
This year, however, I think I got him.
We'd noticed a little news story about a program called "Be The Chef" offered by Benihana Restaurants.
For a modest sum (it's only modest if you add in the cost of feeding four at the restaurant and the price of a lumpy red hat and crisp, white apron), a chef would train you and then you and your friends could come watch the show as he demonstrated new skills.
I signed Marc up.
Shielding the sharp
My daughter was dubious. "Does he like doing that?" she said when I shared my brilliant plan.
I thought so.
He's always making omelets and stir-frys and grilling outside. He enjoys food and loves kitchen gadget stores. His favorite show is "Diners and Dive-ins (is that right?)" on TV and given some free time, he'll watch whatever cooking show is on. He's kind of a cooking junkie.
So I paid the money and hoped for the best.
Saturday night we got to see the results.
We all trucked up to Benihana's in Salt Lake and waited to see Marc come out in his cooking costume.
He looked good in his apron and hat and utensil belt.
I was a little worried about the very sharp knives and very hot grill he'd be working with. Sometimes Marc can be dangerous with kitchen toys.
The rice, about to be tossed. I like the lip.
But "Louise" came out with him and stood by Marc's side as he chopped, cut, sauted and swirled.
He spun an egg and broke it into a bowl with one hand. He created a little onion volcano and made it smoke. He deftly cut up little shrimp and big shrimp and steak.
Laying out the shrimp
The only problem we could see was a lot of smoke, Marc's station billowed gray smoke more than the ones around us.
Apparently he used too much oil prepping the grill, according to Louise.
And he was a touch slow. Louise started to advise him to move ahead, don't worry about this and that and keep it going. (The restaurant was getting busy and they needed our table.)

Cutting off the tails

Marc's puffing volcano
But I counted it as a huge success. Marc was beaming the whole night through and we were all impressed. Our meal was delicious.
And now he has another fall-back career, right?

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