My son wants to be a chef. He has always wanted to be a chef. Not a fireman, not a doctor - he did say farmer for a little while, but that was so he could grow his own ingredients. He's watched Food Network since he was four, and he's been writing recipes since then. He even got a little hand-held voice recorder for Christmas one year because he kept getting frustrated that he couldn't write things down fast enough. And of course we still have the tapes!
Since our Renaissance study, he has decided that Leonardo Da Vinci is his hero, but I often wonder if it isn't actually Alton Brown. He quotes 'AB' all the time like gospel. Cooking is kind of a big deal in my family. We have certain 'family recipes' and traditions like making dressing together at my grandparent's for Thanksgiving. Because of his enthusiastic interest, my son was introduced to all of this at an early age with bread making and then cookies (all with my grandfather.) Recently he's been getting lessons on Chicken and Dumplings - mmmm. Now, however, all of these lessons are punctuated with "Alton Brown says."
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big 'AB' fan myself, so is the rest of my family. It's just funny to hear a 10-year-old voice correcting someone with something Alton said on last night's episode. Because he watches it every day!
Even though he has always wanted to be a chef, he has never been adventurous about what he actually eats. I think he subsists on mainly cheese and bread products along with the occasional hot dog. Well, he will eat steak, but how often does that get served?
Most of his cooking experience so far has been of the helping variety. Measure ingredients, stir the sauce, roll the dough. He recently graduated to using a knife to help with chopping. So I was pleased the other day when he suggested a dish that he wanted to prepare that I thought he could actually do mostly by himself. Usually he suggests very complicated things (sometimes of his own creation) that we have to politely put off till later... Well, you can probably guess where this suggested recipe came from. That's right, Good Eats. Episode Flat is Beautiful III - Flounder. The recipe is for Oil Poached Flounder.
My son did almost all of the preparations himself. I only helped with the 'hot' bits. It turned out just great. And here's the best part. The rule is, if he cooks something, he has to at least try it. His response to a bite? And I quote, "That's wonderful! No really, I like it!"
Thank you Alton Brown.