Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Capogiro Book Report

So I moved this weekend, and for me the biggest tribulation of moving involves packing and hauling my books. And they're heavy. And inevitably, whenever I pack them I end up sitting and flipping through them for a while, reminiscing about what I loved about them to begin with.
On this occasion, one in particular struck me - a book by a woman named Melanie Dunea, called "My Last Meal: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals". The book is a collection of portraits of famous chefs, and their responses when asked to describe their last meal on Earth. I know, I know, it sounds morbid, but it's a beautifully photographed and put together collage of how some of the greatest chefs alive today really feel about food, and what they conceive to be the ultimate dining experience.
What's surprising and endearing about the book is how simple many of the chefs envision their last meal to be - Eric Ripert, for instance, said his would be comprised of a bottle of Bordeaux with fresh country bread and shaved black truffle. Ferran Adria desires only Japanese food, while Wylie Dufresne wants only "eggs eggs eggs", prepared as his mother taught him. Nearly all of the chefs reminisce upon meals shared with loved ones, food they were surrounded with as children - ones that fill them with memories, and nearly all the meals are purely ingredient based. Fresh, simple flavors that stand alone and elicit emotional responses.
I got to the store this morning and began brewing coffee and realized that for me, a last meal without espresso wouldn't be complete - a realization based solely on the smell of the beans. I posed the question to Dawne and Laci here at 13th street later on in the afternoon and they both got day-dreamy and started talking about peach and apple pies, and macaroni and cheese and bacon. Nothing fancy, but routed somewhere special for each of them. One of the great things about working at Capogiro is the passionate people you're surrounded with - all of them with strong feelings about food.
So what would your last meal be? Who would you share it with? Maybe it involves gelato.

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