Life in the kitchen can be difficult. There is an absolute need for organization; the ability to multitask is a must. Mistakes are rarely tolerated, and when one person has a bad day, more often than not, the rest of the kitchen goes down as well. It is a well-oiled machine that needs to be maintained. It can be tiring, defeating work, much different from what the television shows would lead you to believe.
It is also incredibly rewarding. Every dish that goes out is a reflection of the team as a whole, a picture of a hardworking group of people who spend a lot of time huddled in a small and very hot kitchen. As I mentioned last month, we did a complete menu change for Tarragon. During this time, our team worked more hours than we usually do to create a brand new menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The creative process is amazing to be a part of. Tracking a dish, from beginning to end, is fascinating. Sometimes a dish that looks great on paper becomes the biggest disaster in application. The new scallops entrée is the greatest example of this. The first rendition had us all looking at each other in disgust. It simply was not good. We retooled it and came up with what is now my favorite on the menu. The Tomato Basil Relish is what really ties the dish together, providing the perfect balance for the scallops.
– Chef Bret Andreasen
Tomato Basil Relish
- 10 Large Roma Tomatoes
- Half Yellow Onion
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Mustard Seed
- ½ C Rice Wine Vinegar
- ¼ C Basil
- Core the Roma tomatoes, quarter them, and cut out the seeds, until only the skin and the meat attached to the skin remains.
- Small dice half of a yellow onion.
- Finely chop ¼ cup of basil.
- Combine all ingredients in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until it the liquid is almost entirely cooked out.