So whilst in New York I got to spend an evening in the kitchen of AvroKO’s first restaurant, Public. Which was amazing. On Friday I did a little one-day internship upstairs at AvroKO, which was also very very cool, then on Saturday I got to go behind the restaurant-scenes. Saturday morning we had (delicious) brunch at Public, and after some (delicious) scones, I ordered the French toast. Which was topped with yummy lychees and the same palm sugar syrup served in Bali at the Honeymoon suites, making me feel quite nostalgic and miss Indonesia intensely for a minute. Until I was brough right back by the fact that it was possibly the greatest french toast I’ve ever had,

Then after some wandering and shopping I went back to the restaurant, where I put on chef clothes (ever so stylish checkered pants) and got a tour of the kitchen from the executive chef, Brad Farmerie. (He was on Iron Chef!) After my great tour I hung out with one of the entree chefs, Tay, who showed me around a little more then put me to work prepping herbs and squash and cutting up poached apples. All the while everyone is preparing their “mise en place,” getting everything they’ll need in order–so they won’t have to be rushing back and forth from the fridge when the time comes. After about an hour or so of prepping, everyone takes a break for “family meal,” a meal for all the cooks as well as the waitstaff, and even the people up at AvroKO. After that tasty meal I continued with a little prep work, then came the best part of all. Everyone started feeding me. I swear I had twenty plates. It started with just a little taste of kim chi and grew to scallops with handmade sweet-chili sauce, quinoa croquetas, quail eggs and eel, beet fennel pomegranate salad, reached a fever pitch with a fish cream topped with lobster and caviar, and  grew ever grander to butternut squash flan, perfect lamb with feta polenta, and the creamiest sunchoke soup one could imagine, topped with porcini popcorn. While indulging in all these foodie treasures I talked with Farrah, the 20 year old chef just out of the French Culinary Institute, Ricky, the just-past-60 salad and cold app master, and Aaron the sous-chef directing the kitchen with a smile, and all the other people talking and laughing and preparing great food in the kitchen. And, well. I loved it. The camaraderie, the giant fridge, the endless spices, the colossal jugs of olive oil, the steady flow of delicious food.

Family meal before the craziness begins.

Prep stuff.

Little soft-boiled quail egg, pickled sprouts, and yummy crunchy eel.

Farrah! She made me lots of little treats and gave me wise advice on being a young woman in the food world.

Ricky in the background, scallop with sweet chili and a quinoa croquetta in the front.

Amazing salad with beets, fennel, pomegranate. Ricky also made me a ridiculously good lentil salad with green beans and avocado and pecans and all varieties of tastiness.

Butternut flan! Holy cow!

The horribly creamy and delish sunchoke soup with porcini popcorn. I could just lie around and drink this soup. All day.

Tay, hard at work, showing me lots of cool stuff and letting me try tons of tasty bits.

And lastly, me! Chef shirt and all!

Such a unique and amazing experience to get to go into the kitchen of this wonderful restaurant and get to know everyone a little, taste a ton of delicious, interesting things, and learn a bit about this giant food world I’ve become so infatuated with.

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