Gamers have a special relationship. So do sports aficionados. Foodies are no different. Sure, there are snobs in all categories, and ego, pride, and prejudice rear their ugly heads from time to time, but generally there is plenty of room for the thrill of discovery and shared enjoyment.
I happened to see the movie Ratatouille when it first came out. It is the story of the love child of a famous chef who inherits his father’s 5-star restaurant, but the kid has absolutely no cooking finesse. However, a rat, yes, a rat!, who longed for life beyond the garbage bins, started watching the famous chef on TV, the same chef who died and left his restaurant to his secret son. The rat learns how to communicate with the non-cooking boy, and together they turn out amazing food. The worst food critic comes to dine at the restaurant and the rat insists that he must eat ratatouille, which is not on the menu. You’ll have to watch the movie for the rest of the story. Sorry.
I had never heard of ratatouille before I saw the movie, but ever since, I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe. I’ve scoured cookbooks and ordered it in restaurants, but never been satisfied.
I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing about my anniversary trip, but I promise this is the last post concerning it. For dinner that night, I ordered trout with ratatouille – and went to heaven. It tasted the way ratatouille is supposed to taste. I came home and renewed my quest for the perfect recipe because eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash are in season now. No luck.
In desperation, I went to the restaurant’s webpage and clicked ‘contact us.’ I sent a polite note saying that I had enjoyed their ratatouille and was sure they do not share their recipes, but could they possibly point me to a recipe that might be similar?
I was totally amazed when I got an email back from their executive chef saying that they do things a bit differently from what you can find online…and here’s how.
So tonight I feasted on ratatouille at home. No, it’s not exactly the same, but close enough. The reason I write this is that positive relationships are important to me. I encourage you to let people know when they please you. Show your gratitude. And when the food warrants it, don’t be shy about asking for the recipe if you like to cook. Even if the answer is ‘no,’ the fact that you asked is pretty high flattery and will usually be appreciated.
If you’re ever in Kansas City, Missouri, I recommend the Brown and Loe restaurant in the River Market area. Reservations are advised, but the food and the staff are wonderful!