In celebration of our 2 year anniversary, my girlfriend and I headed up north to Napa/Sonoma for the weekend. The trip was planned around a dinner reservation at Ad Hoc and cheese tasting the following day in Sonoma with friends. It was only by chance (I'll call it fate) that we ended up in the dining room at a one year old Japanese establishment in downtown Napa.
It was the end of the lunch service on a Saturday and the back dining room was mostly empty. We had already ordered and were eagerly waiting for our Toro Tartare.
Turns out, the lack of patrons (read: competition) was to my advantage as I glanced out the window at the back patio only to see MASAHARU MORIMOTO himself sitting there.
At that point, I lost all control of my poise and quietly shrieked to myself something equivalent to the noise a 14 year old girl would make after spotting the Bieber.
I was officially in shock.
Flashbacks to the first time I witnessed the original Iron Chef series - in all its glory. With dubbed voiceovers and bashful Japanese actress judges. I initially dismissed the battle as totally staged until I saw the sweat pouring from the contender's brow and the unequivocal organized chaos that is - Kitchen Stadium. How could these chefs be so creative and yet so in control. They were true masters of their craft. It was, in a word, inspirational.
Now flash forward a full decade. Years of culinary experimentation and discovery on my own. It quickly became my passion. I had gotten jobs as a cooking instructor, food photographer, caterer, private chef. Now I run a (semi)underground supper club and consider myself a full blown foodie.
And within a knife's throw away, sat the man who helped launch my obsession.
I won't bore you with the details of my actual encounter with the Iron Chef as it was mostly sputtering and awkward (on my part). I did manage to get out the words "Thank you," which was an accomplishment that I am very content with.
We fumbled around with my iPad as that was my preferred medium for recording this unprecedented event.
The message loosely translates to, "Dream big and have deep aspirations. That is how you can reach your ultimate goal." - Morimoto
Special thanks to Karen for putting up with me and documenting the event.
He who eats alone, chokes alone.