Meeting Chef David Tanis
When I started this blog, other local food bloggers welcomed me into their fold like pioneers seeking friendly companions on the new frontier. We read and comment on each others' work and pass around opportunities and news. We give each other link love and retweets, assets barely defined a mere two years ago. So it was that when a publicist for David Tanis, co-chef of Chez Panisse, inquired whether some bloggers would like to meet him, a few of us passed the buck until Andy and Bethia of Columbus Food Adventures, Taco Trucks Columbus, Street Eats Columbus, and Alt Eats Columbus organized a lunch date. Thanks guys!
We met at Knead where the conversation immediately turned to the foodie secret: Ohio is a rather grand place to eat. Tanis seemed to agree, having supped at DeepWood and Jeni's the night before.
Talk wound its way through many food topics while the brave Knead chef Rick Lopez created our meals. Wendy of Midlife Celiac shared her expertise with gluten-free dining. Tanis did his best to convince Lisa the Waitress that artichokes could be a delicious meal. I talked about backyard chickens; Tanis suggested goats might be a good next step. Ha!
I was delighted to be presented with a gratis copy of Tanis new cookbook (catch that, FCC, I received a cookbook for free) Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys, and more so when Debra of Persephone's Kitchen broke the ice to ask for an inscription. Once home, Alex, who reads very little printed on paper these days, paged through the whole thing. The photos and layout are simple, beautiful and inspiring. I especially loved the 14 rituals Tanis detailed before serving up a single recipe. Knowing a person's particular rituals is an insight into his cooking and eating style.
There are precious few perks to my part-time un-paid job writing this blog. But the ones that do come along, like last week's visit with a treasure of an American chef surrounded by colleagues, are often rather spectacular.