Last night during service I was thinking about how much I miss cooking - again. It´s not just me - it´s a common lament amongst cooks. Not just here at El Bulli, but at Ducasse too and a lot of other restaurants. We really miss cooking our own food. It´s been over two years now I think since I´ve really, regularly thought about and cooked my own food.
And then today I got an email from a law school grad doing Basic Cuisine at Cordon Bleu in Paris this November.
My advice - savour it. Forget about the yelling chefs, forget about the pressure - but do always remember your sense of urgency in the kitchen - forget about the bitching from your classmates. Savour the ingredients - God I miss French leeks. Savour the prep - smell the fish and feel its skin, really enjoy parting a chicken and searching out the joints to make clean cuts.
And when you cook, envision your final dish - how you are going to get that huge mess of chicken wings and mirepoix and fat and wine into your precious spoonfuls of beautiful, deep rich, complex sauce? How you´re going to get that piece of beef seared and marked on the outside but keep it pink and tender within.
If you don´t know - listen, ask - and fuck them if they yell at you for asking. Let them yell - and then listen. And then cook. And then taste. And then just savour it.