- The Awakened Chef
Au revoir l'été (goodbye summer)
There's a subtle sadness that comes at the end of summer. It happens every year. It's a little nostalgia that makes us feel as if we're about to lose "something."
There is a "something" that we find in summer that's maybe more unique than other times of the year. Maybe it's the way we slow down our busy lives or the long daylight-filled evenings that allow for incredible outdoor meals. Maybe it's all the extra family time we enjoy together and the relaxed way in which we approach everything we do. Maybe it's the ocean or the barbecues or any of the unforgettable memories in our heads that are incessantly connected to summer.
There's a rhythm to life in summer. Rhythm is good. It's peaceful.
And just as easy as it was to settle into this rhythm of summer, we're forced to say goodbye to the very season that brought it to us in the first place. We fear that the comfort and security we had found in this rhythm will leave when summer leaves.
But then, the first crisp air arrives and we're immediately transported to autumn's smells and sights. Charcoal is replaced with wooden logs. Limes are replaced with apples; water ice with maple caramel; watermelon with pumpkin; begonias with mums; blue and yellow tablecloths are replaced with orange and brown ones, and the grill is replaced with cast iron ovens. A new anticipation arrives. But can we continue the peaceful rhythm of summer into the fall? Can we fight the busy schedules, the increased activities, the lack of time? How can we find "something" in the fall that is just as unique as what we found in summer?
Fall too has a rhythm. It's different, but it definitely has a rhythm. It moves us. It inspires us. For those of us who cook, it's a blank canvas to start a whole new symphony. It's an explosion of opportunity. It's an invitation to create new meals and to gather people we love around the table. It's a time to explore and visit places we only visit in the fall, and to taste the flavors that are unique to this great season.
So while the sun may be setting on summer and we say goodbye to the season of peaceful rhythm, I chose to embrace this change by creating a menu that highlights the late summer bounty with awesome autumn overtones (because to discover joy in these rhythms of life, I find, is to live a really fun and awakened life).
The Rhythm of Two Seasons
Pan-seared scallops and polenta in grapefruit beurre blanc with dehydrated tomatoes and charred cucumber
Jumbo Sainte-Maure goat cheese ravioli in butternut squash and tomato jus bouillon
Pecan Crusted Tilapia
Pecan-crusted tilapia in savoy lemon-orange zabaglione and maple swirls
Au revoir l'été!