The story starts with my best friend Patty who has come to visit me in Santa Barbara from Boston. She knows everything about me and vice versa. When she arrived in CA she had met Jim but never spent much time with him other than casual short talks.
On Saturday morning we all went to the wonderful beautiful Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Jamie West, who was working as Executive Chef for the San Yisdro Ranch was hosting a cooking class using produce from the market. Cool, how often do you get this level of Chef teaching you for free? So the first course he focuses on is a salad for the starter. It consisted of greens, fruit, and Candied Spanish Walnuts. Patty announced she had a better recipe! Then Jamie shared his Roasted Butternut Soup and Patty once again said she could do it better, in fact, she apparently made it just a couple of days ago and her very large family pronounced it the best soup on the face of the planet.
So now class is over and Patty and Jim decide to put their heads together and create a menu for Saturday night’s dinner. They ran off at lighting speed and examined produce based on their combined knowledge of all things grown in the dirt. Needless to say we arrived back at the house with bags and bags of gorgeous fruits and vegetables.
They swooped into the kitchen working like a single fine-tuned machine. Now you must understand, there is only ONE Executive Chef in the kitchen, Patty and Jim are people with very strong opinions and personalities. Patty hardly knew Jim, and Patty was working in a big kitchen she was not familiar with. All sorts of obstacles. What could go wrong, in most cases, everything!!!
Patty and Jim worked all day chatting, giving each other advice, sharing cooking tips, and having a mega foodie love fest. All I did was clean up, I wasn’t even needed to prep.
Anyway, the evening was incredible, the salad was better than Chef West’s, the soup was heartier and had more depth, the homemade pasta ravioli was over the top insanely unctuous, the veal was probably fantastic, but Jim and Patty were in such a cooking frenzy they both forgot I don’t eat veal. I can’t even remember what was served up for dessert since I was in a very serious food coma.
But for that day Jim and Patty were best friends and I felt unnecessary and invisible. I was just plain jealous. However, for that day they came together and through their love of food and their love for me, created without a doubt, one of the best meals, I’ve ever had in my life. Just remember two things I love Jim and Patty and I don’t eat veal.