Sunday, September 14, 2008
First, and may I say OMG. I was at the culinary school the yesterday using their ice cream freezer freezing five gallons of cantaloupe and sweet basil ice cream we were serving for the Grand Reception at the Epicurean Classic held the past three days. I was going through one of the kitchens trying to find a full 600 pan to put the ice cream in when someone caught my eye. "Is that? No, it couldn't be. Is she scheduled to be here?" I saw a short, older woman with thick round glasses cutting some fennel over across the kitchen. "Excuse me," I ask one of the students standing beside me, "is that Joyce Goldstein?" "uh uh", came a not so enthusiastic reply. "Oh my god!!! Oh my god!!! That's Joyce Goldstein?" "Yea." Again I don't think this youngster of a cook/student had any idea she was breathing the same air as...well you know...JOYCE GOLDSTEIN!!! And if she did she was containing herself much better than I was. It was a Wayne and Garth moment, "I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy" After I pissed my pants and breathed into the paper sack someone provided me, I got the courage to go over and actually meet her. "Chef," I stammered, "You have no idea who I am", and I thinking to myself you really don't care, "but I have followed your work since the '80s, and I am a big fan of what yours." Starry eyed and all I must have looked the fool I felt. I am an unabashed chef groupie and I would have let out a teenage girl-seeing the Beatles for the first time-scream, had I not caught myself. Now at this point I am a pan of half melted jello and I hold out a visibly shaking hand in hope she will find me worthy enough to return it. She looked at me like it would be better if I just died and let her get back to work, shook my hand, said thank you, and turned around and continued what she was doing before I came over and got in the way. Chef Goldstein has a reputation of being that crabby Jewish mother who will chide you at the drop of a hat, so when she gave me that look, I was in heaven. Sure she forgot about me 10 seconds after I left her presence but for 34 seconds I shared the same space with her, and for a brief moment it was I who was irritating her. It took me some time to calm down from such an unexpected encounter. I kept walking in the kitchen where she was working just to catch a glimps of greatness. I'm such a dork.