I like to know what’s next as much
as possible, so when they call and say,
“We need you to work a dinner Saturday,”
I wish they would tell me the occasion
and the menu, just so I have an idea of
how to prepare myself to prepare the meal.
I think differently for salmon than sirloin.
Catering, for the most part, means cooking
blind: going to the gig to finish what those
in the prep kitchen have begun, following
their list, counting on them to have done
their jobs, relinquishing any wish for control
or simply being informed. I don’t know
what’s for dinner until I start cooking it.
In the restaurant, the menu means I know
what I’m cooking, but not for whom, leaving
me with an equal measure of uncertainty.
Fair warning is not an ingredient in most of
life’s recipes. Still, I know my hands and my
heart, I know how to get ready and remember
the key is not ingredients, but intention.