Regime change in Maul Hall kitchen ushers in new era

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

Back when Rebekah first retired (August 2021) I told her she was welcome to choose a day every week, or two, or a handful of meals, or whatever she wanted, if she was interested in picking up some of the cooking. She has always been an excellent cook, but the combination of her work and my flexible schedule (plus the fact that I enjoyed it so much) had led to the “Derek cooks” status quo.

Last week she took me up on my offer. Big time. “I want to do 100% for two weeks,” she said, “breakfast lunch and dinner.”

Cookbooks came out. Then her notepad. Then the lists. The caveat was that I would be sous chef. And – apparently – the sous chef shops.

New recipes, and a new cook, means new staples, different techniques. I had to shop three times before she was ready. Three of the most challenging grocery shopping expeditions of my life. Let me ask you, do you know what Soba noodles are? I do now. Then there was polenta, and very specific pastas, and several obscure cheeses. How about not just olive oil but sesame oil too, and flaxseed oil. Then there was rice vinegar and malt vinegar and wine vinegar…

Yes, I found it all. Even the pre-made crepes. I was surprised that, by the third run, American Express hadn’t flagged my account!

Rebekah, as she does with anything where she makes a commitment, goes all in. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with her, and why she has always been so successful in her work. No half-measures, no going through the motions, nothing but first-class and with passion: “If I’m going to do this then I’m doing it right.”

Of course you are.

So yesterday we had a Benedict – including perfectly poaches eggs – for breakfast, we had an amazing salad for lunch, and we had shrimp and asparagus crepes for dinner. There is a menu, pre-planned and all the ingredients in hand, for every day over the next couple of weeks.

Here we are: fun with food at Maul-Hall. The best of the best of the best. Stay tuned for updates along the way.

Living the dream – sous chef DEREK

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