Week three was the week of sweetness..Dessert week with a finale of cheese presentation!
week two in plant lab was a week of unravelling the mysteries of fermentation..kombucha,ginger bug,kimchi,cheese! We learned how to make the most amazing dumplings..and making our first ice cream in the paco jet, while transforming the plant lab into an art lab drawing like Jackson Pollock on a canvas made out of coconut!the week ended with a walk to the local farm market and a preparation of the most simple yet highly refined salad..a zen exercise..
In one of the oldest and most sophisticated buildings in Belfast-Maine beats the heart of vegetarian fine dining,The Gothic restaurant.
I was honored to be invited together with my camera into Gothic's kitchen on a friday night..
We mostly imagine Kitchens as a place where the chef shouts and everybody else shouts back in silence..
and all that while they are preparing your meal..
well not in this kitchen!
This kitchen lives by the rules of the food it represents..food that is artful but at the same time good food..
The two chefs Matt Downes and Ryan McKeown communicate more like martial artists or dancers who have been training together for years..their movements are fast yet gentle and efficient.
Their language is polite and respectful
they talk more in silence and less with logos..and when you do hear a voice its the voice of deep concentration and practicality..
You often hear -Behind (when someone passes behind you) or -Oven(when chef opens the door of the oven even if there is no one around)Rituals that make the space sacred..
And then there is the person who like a shadow you can trust..keeps the place clean.He works with a smile..humble and zen.His name Matthew Mc Killop
Two girls often enter the stage with elegance.. Samantha and Shizuka..to take the plates away to the tables or bring new orders in..
when they enter their energy changes immediately as when you enter a temple..
The plates are like gardens with secrets and the overall palette is dainty and at the same moment earhty and masculine and sometimes.. a desert wind comes and takes you away to places unknown and yet with the feeling that this is home..
the Gothic restaurant.."a dream within a dream"as Edgar Allan Poe beautifully wrote.
And so I am living the dream..
Everyday in my Apron in the Plant Lab..
Learning new skills..enchanted by the initiation to the world of food artistry..
The week was intense and so rich in knowledge that it makes me wonder how far will we get on week six..
Teachers are very generous and with a gentle attitude that suits the deep reason of why we care about living foods..to nourish and evolve ourselves..to become caring to us and all around..
On the first day we got our blouses and aprons and our knife.
We began our every day with one hour of knife skills and then recipes and techniques until the afternoon..
No break except to eat what we made..
I love this intensity..
Learning,tasting,washing,learning,making,washing and exploring and plating oh how i love plating..and washing again..and taking photos all day and sensing and rejoice and feeling so grateful for all..and washing again..and with hands clean and heart so full.. go home to upload photos to my computer and sleep..
So this.. as everything..is a journey…
I am in Maine USA attending the Matthew Kenney highly advanced culinary academy.
I will be doing level 1 and level 2 in the course of really intensive six weeks training!
I studied photography and then got into the National School of Dramatic Arts.
Trying to get a deeper understanding of my instrument ..this body and the expression of the soul through it ..I began searching..
Theatre and dance led me to Tai chi and then came basic chinese and Ancient Greek medicine which I studied in the course of three years together with herbs which led to nutrition.Ann Wingmore work together with the works of Ippocrates ..began making sprouts and experimenting with cleanses ..”let thy food be thy medicine”
the power that derives from taking on the responsibility of thy self..
All this with the goal to understand..not to become a know it all person..not at all..but I had to understand who we are as human beings and get in touch with the miracle inside of us..
I continued working as an artist both in the silent and meditative field of photography and in the full of action and magic world of Logos in Theatre
My search took me to Denmark and then Japan to study butoh under the great Kazuo Ohno..
Sensei Ohno taught me delicacy..
And this was a great shift …that still lights the way ..
We all grow up in a society that expects us to succeed in all our efforts and during this effort we can become so cruel with our selfs.
And the Self will talk back ..and then we will become more cruel by not listening..
so this delicacy is part of the reason I am here..
I have been passionate about food all my life .
And it is those small everyday gestures that when refined into the level of artistry they become everyday sacred rituals
A hymn to life and this existence..
Ambrosing..the effort one makes to find the elixirs and wonders the refinement and poetry in the everyday life..
Adventures in the culinary space,experimenting on flavors,aromas,techniques and qualities of a world full of mystery but always with a mind focused on conscious consuming.Conscious based on intuition and not on dogmas.Dogmatic ideologies have a static energy that in my humble opinion misses the flow of nature..
Though the choices we have to nourish and care about our selfs are nowdays so many..
homemade and handmade ointments,beauty oils and little habits that can become sacred rituals of pure bliss.
And then its my love for styling and photographing still life.There is something so peaceful in that, that makes my heart breath deeply..
This is a blog of the little joys that act as an offer of gratitude for the beauty we all experience everyday..