Wednesday, November 27, 2002

A fresh face on the culinary scene

We're trying out a new chef at our house tomorrow morning. He's young and inexperienced, but we have high hopes for his culinary flair. I happen to know that he's trained extensively with Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart. Of course, it's true that this training has been exclusively in the form of faithfully watching their Food Network shows. It's also true that this is his first time ever preparing a Thanksgiving dinner. And I can't deny the fact that he's only nine years old. But every great chef's gotta start somewhere, right?

Still, people seem shocked when I tell them I'm letting my son cook our family feast. Shortsighted ones! Putting the little guy in charge, with me as kitchen assistant, has three great advantages: It gives me an opportunity to lead him through good life-based lessons in math, science and nutrition; it encourages him to pursue an area in which he's recently shown enthusiasm; and it means that if any of the food turns out awful, I have someone to blame. Who can complain if the stuffing is dry or the sweet potatoes burnt if they're beeing served by a cherub-faced cook bursting with pride at doing it himself? As far as I'm concerned, having someone else take the heat in the kitchen -- even if I have to do most of the chopping and stovetop stirring dirty work -- is something to be truly thankful for.

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