Friday, June 1, 2007

Slow Cook Calling Anguilla, Slow Cook Calling Anguilla...

My first question would be, How many decent photos of Anguilla can I snatch off the web before I have to start posting some photos of my own?

Secondly, How can anyone not like okra?

My departure date for the Caribbean isles is fast approaching and today I had my first bit of face time with my new, temporary employer.

As you might recall, a rather large (33) extended family has hired me to be their personal chef for the week on the island of Anguilla. That means cooking dinners. I think they were nervous about a couple of things.

First, I'm getting the impression they are really American-style eaters, meaning beef, chicken, potatoes, corn on the cob and so forth. When they asked me for some sample menus (before we signed on the dotted line) I of course whipped up some island-friendly fare with things like local fish and rice and peas and so forth. And also smothered okra.

Okra happens to be one of my most favorite foods in the world. I like it almost any which way. I grow as much of it as possible in my garden. But today I was informed that my new employer, the ones flying me down to Anguilla, have zero interest in okra. None. Zippo. To a person, they despise okra.

Strike one.

We also have a small issue about dinner on Day One. Because almost everyone in the group will not be arriving on the island till almost dinner time, the question arises, How do we get dinner on the table for 33 people if no one is there to do the shopping or the cooking?

Well, one person might be there ahead of time to do some shopping. And some in the group are bringing a bunch of frozen protein, such as hamburgers, because they've heard there isn't much fresh meat to be found on the island. So our first meal may well be--ready?--hamburgers with green salad and some kinda frozen French fries, whatever they have in the local grocery.

But maybe there will be a surprise.

Finally there is the matter of The Slow Cook writing about his adventures in Anguilla on his blog. I do detect some nervousness about that, as when the client a bit sheepishly inquires, "You won't be writing about us on your blog, will you?"

To which I can reply emphatically, No. I do not write about my clients. I only write about generalities, such as, what it was like arriving in Anguilla with an hour to make dinner for 33 people, cooking hamburgers when every sinew in my body is screaming "conch!" and "rice and peas!" and "okra!"

Believe me, I can be discreet.

I just wanted to air this out a little because I'm sure some of the family members have been checking this blog and thinking, Do we really want an urban insurgent cook and possible socialist liberal preparing our dinners? (To say nothing of sleeping in the room next door!) Then they probably said, Well, who the hell else?

From what I understand, if you try to hire a chef through the local tourist board in Anguilla, the price is something like $700 per meal. Needless to say, I'm a bit more economical.

As I said before, I'm a bit of a reluctant traveler. The garden is begging for attention. So many other projects are pulling on me. But I'll take a couple of good books. Maybe some time on the beach. I've got the wardrobe. Anybody for a bottle of rum?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he he, been to Anguilla several times and I can see how it would be hard to find some fresh beef, other meat, etc. However I am so glad to hear that someone else loves okra as much as I do. Hey if you ever wanna an assistant around the kitchen-perhaps a sous chef? drop me a line.