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It's Just A Spoon

So when you first start cooking you fall in love with tongs. You can't help it really. They are so handy. Pulling food out of a six or nine pan and throwing it into the saute pan with tongs, pulling the hot pan from the oven with tongs, flipping the meat on the grill with tongs, pulling the pork with tongs, the next thing you know, tongs are pretty much the only tool in the kitchen you are using.

Until you get to work for a good chef anyways. Hopefully if you are a cook or an aspiring chef you have or will find your way into a place that bans tongs and forces spoons on you. You see tongs wreck food, they tear it apart, much like forks, they break up food and mash it down. I mean would YOU rather be forked or spooned? Exactly.

So, with that in mind, I started noticing that all the line guys had "their spoons." The ones they had collected over the years, all with deep meaning or specific purposes or both. And over the next couple months I put together my spoons too. I had the big shallow one, that almost worked like a spatula and perfectly plated my hakueri turnips. The small one with the perfect angle so just the right amount of caviar came off onto the clabber cream quenelle. The antique spoon that let fat trout eggs fall off perfectly one by one, onto the seared fennel. That's right, two different spoons for two different size fish eggs.

I've got a spoon that perfectly bastes duck breast while not grabbing the thyme stem I threw in the fat, a big deep spoon that was built to quenelle. I have other spoons that were given to me by friends, bogarted over time at their special dinners or when they see a cool one. That's right I hadn't mentioned, I steal all the spoons. Or they're gifts of graft from others, but I don't buy em.

We work hard, we're not paying for our spoons, and the food I make with it will be way better than any food that spoon would have gotten to touch otherwise. I'm basically liberating the spoon from it's predictably boring life. You're welcome spoon. At least that's how I've justified my thieving ways. It's always from a place I have worked, a place I have taken lessons, recipes, friends...and spoons from.

If you have a chef friend, ask them about their spoon collection. If they don't understand, your friend's a phony. Try cooking with some of the biggest serving spoons instead of a spatula or tongs the next time you cook. Just like you, your food loves to be spooned. Promise.


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