Charles Brown, Advice To Chefs
Well, have I ever let it show its graces?
Believe it or not, I have let it show its graces, and to save space on this page, I have put a few of my well-liked recipes just before it.
If you are reading this, chances are that you are a chef, and like most of us, we have day after day to get stuff done and get back on track.
You are right. We are very much into “the disciplines of the culinary arts,” as they say down there.
And we surely do understand the value of having honed our skills through dedication and hard work.
Honesty and work hard
For many of us, it is just a matter of common sense.
But there is a dark side to all of this.
As I say, I am a chef, but I also think of myself as an artist too in a strange way.
I have felt very disconnected to my craft for a very long time.
And when you really think about it, it is a sad story.
I grew up in a family where home cooked meals where an exceptional art form.
My father passed on the traditional cultural values of Louisiana: he was a fisherman, a gourmet cook, caregiver,inner.
And at the age of fifteen, I ate fish sticks andaten banana pudding for dessert.
I thoroughly enjoyed being the chef’s pet, and proudly served my father’s favorite dishes at home.
But soon after, I discovered something that made me angrier than anything I had ever cooked up: MSG.
I had used it in one of the early recipes I had ever created, way back in thereby the eighties. MSG was an artificial ingredient at the time, but to most chefs and amateurs alike, it was an open secret.
I had used it, and it did not look right, so I wasn’t too surprised when I saw the same effects with a friend’s mother.
She had used the same recipe, and the only difference was that she had added two tablespoons of MSG instead of the original three.
It made me wonder about the other chemicals, allergens, pollutants, and botulism that are regularly found in our food and environment.
My friend had not noticed any difference, and she was not aware that she was allergic to MSG or gluten, the main ingredients of the sandwich.
I asked her, and she admitted that she had not felt any different, until after she had eaten the sandwich.
It made me realize that for someone who had never been on a diet, eating a diet containing MSG and gluten may have a negative effect and cause bloating and weight gain.
The next time I ate at home, I placed MSG and gluten back in my favorite recipes.
And around the same time, I had a major breakthrough with my digestion. No longer did I have to slave over some guy in the kitchen who was more than happy to let me bowl on the fly.
I would list the alternative ingredients, and the reactions I experienced. Some of these did not surprise me.
I did not react to the artificial sweeteners, but I was surprised by the intensity of the allergic reactions. Each time I would pick at the artificial sweeteners, I would get a more pronounced reaction. But when I did not have an allergic reaction, I was able to enjoy the sweetness of the food and compliment the flavor.
For the longest time, I could only enjoy foods that contained the artificial sweeteners, and cereals containing the ingredient. The surprise was when I started cooking, and I was able to enjoy baked goods and desserts containing the sweetener. After the first few weeks of baking as a non allergic baker, I experienced complete success with my diet.
The diet made me lose a little weight, but alertly so. I was not anymore constipated, and I could complete a rigorous work out regimen without experiencing any major problems.
No matter how hard I tried to avoid ingesting the sweetner, it became increasingly more difficult to avoid the experience of drinking a gallon of milk, and no doubt soon I would have a heart attack. My doctor tried to ascertain the telltale signs, and eventually determined that I was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
I have been on my own for a little over six years. During that time I have tried every diet known to man. I tried to distance myself from those who had made some connection to my childhood in an attempt to understand me. But as years past by I realized that the emotional and psychological explanations were not bringing me a clarity.
I am still trying to understand myself. But slowly it is becoming easier to see that what once seemed impossible is now within my reach.