Apr 9, 2010

"you can't rise above your ingredients"

recently, my husband, r, was on what my children call a work vacation (more commonly known as a business trip) and sweetly brought me back some wonderful food gifts from the san francisco ferry terminal. that old haunt of mine, the one filled with marvelous food stuffs of all kinds like: broken rice from the slanted door (we are crazy for broken rice), french lentils, anson mills polenta and boulette's larder specially ground spice blend. this man obviously knows the direct route to my heart. through food finds.

which makes me think of my dear cooking school instructor, no longer with us, the wonderful peter kump. peter was founder of the james beard foundation and the cooking school that is now known as the institute of culinary education.  peter was also known for repeating this mantra "you can't rise above your ingredients," over and over to his students. often he would tell us a personal story, like the one about an impromptu dinner party at his manhattan apartment, how he ran out to buy a chicken to roast, accidently bought an old hen, only good for stewing, tried to roast it, failed. ordered chinese food had a lovely meal with his guests anyway. illustrating that even the great peter kump had his share of kitchen mishaps when the ingredients did not succeed despite his expertise. buy the best ingredients, he insisted, you won't be sorry. if all else fails, order out and above all, enjoy your evening, no matter what.

so this weekend i am loving having these special ingredients to work with in order to try to conjure up some food magic. i don't know what i'll make yet, but that will be the fun of it. have a great weekend. xo, g


  1. that is a great basket of goodies your husband picked up for you! What a treat!

  2. thanks nicole, it really is. going to try the polenta tonight!