Saturday, January 26, 2013


Back when I was a chef, we did a party for what is called the Pritzger Prize. The Pritzger Prize is the highest architectural prize one can receive, and it was being awarded to Kitzo Tenge in 1987. The Award Dinner was held at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. There were to be 500 guest.

I had watched the Pastry Chef work for 3 days on his dessert. He had made 500 treasure chests from chocolate, each to be filled with mousse. He had been sitting at a table the last 8 hours hand painting gold filigree on each one.
You may be wondering if gold is edible. It is. It is even said to have medicinal value.
Today you can go and buy a bottle of Goldschlager, a liqueur with flecks of gold floating in it.

But back to the Pastry Chef, dipping his tiny brush into the vial of gold filigree, hand painting 500 finely crafted small boxes made of chocolate. His name was David, and up until a few years prior he had been a carpenter by trade. Maybe he got tired of sawdust, of the cold, I don't know, but somehow he had wound in his true calling, evidenced by his quick rise to the top of his field. To look at David in his white uniform topped by a chefs toque you just wouldn't figure. Long hair and a beard, he looked more like Foghat than a Master PastryChef. David did not wear shoes. He wore sandals. He was like a cross between Tommy Chong and Rasputin.
And he is patiently practicing a form of Zen, hand painting his chocolate creations.

Two corporate Vice-Presidents wandered by, stopping to examine the work.
One said “This is beautiful! So exquisite, so elegant!”
The other picked one of the finished pieces up and said “Simplicity is elegant”, because that’s the kind of shit Corporate VP’s like to say.
David set down his brush, reached over and gently took his treasure chest from the Corporate VP, set it back down with the rest,  and said “We are spending a lot of time on simplicity”.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Wow, very true.