Thursday, June 17, 2010


Last Sunday I told a story with food. I told a story about my family & how greatly influenced I am by them. Food & wine would never have been a part of my life without them & tried to convey that. Without my father I would have never had an appreciation for oysters rockefeller. My mother & father showed me what food can be. That it is of course what sustains us but it should also be an opportunity to enjoy ourselves & connect with family. Whether it's through simply sitting at the table with them or remembering them through recipes.

eaTABLE underground dinner club, which I sous chef'd for at their first dinner, asked me to be the chef/sommelier for the second meal. I of course said yes thinking that this would be great fun but it was a LOT OF WORK. Still though, it was a great experience.

When I was making my grandmother's hot sauce I felt as if she was there with me, & my Dad too because she crafted the recipe & he showed me how to make it. After she passed away he took up making the hot sauce & I'm so glad he did. The stuff is fiery but so addictive. My grandmother (who we called Ta) made these incredible empanada style things that she called saltenas. When I was a kid I didn't really care for them due to their strong flavor of cumin & olives with beef & raisins. For me she made simple cheese saltenas. After she was gone we didn't have them for quite some time but my Mom started making them again & whenever she does I shovel as many as I can down my gullet. Mom always knows to make an extra bunch so that Kelly & I can take them back to Memphis with us.

With the eaTABLE dinner I wanted to feel like my family, & especially my grandmother, was with me & to make them proud. Unfortunately, I was unhappy with quite a few things that we put out but I got lots of positive feedbacks from the diners so hopefully they enjoyed everything. Cooking for anyone is very special but cooking for a large group of food loving peeps is nerve wracking. Afterwards I was completely exhausted but elated all at the same time. Too bad my grandmother wasn't there. I think she would've enjoyed the saltenas via the third generation.


淑惠 said...
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Mitch Major said...

Michael: food was superb and we all had a wonderful time. If something came out of the kitchen that wasn't to your personal standards it just goes to show how high you've set the bar: I didn't notice anything short of exceptional on my plate. Thanks!

Michael Hughes said...

Mitch-thank you so much for the compliment! I'm glad you enjoyed everything. Can't wait for the next one!