Chroegraphy of a Chef

15 08 2012

The cook dances.

He hears a rhythm in the chaos of a busy dinner service.

The ticket machine clicks a stoccato prelude.

The expediter bellows the first deep notes “Two shrimp pasta, fire! ”

The melody begins.

Saute pan slides onto fiery burner.  A squeeze of oil shimmers with the smooth roll of the wrist.  Drop down for t12 shrimp, sharp SEAR as they hit the pan.  A ballerina’s sprinkle of seasoning.  Jolting reach for pasta.  Sharp poses from prep pan to boiling water.  A shake, a stir.  Techno robot flips the shrimp.  A reach and dip.  Sauce hits the pan.  A scoop and shake.  Al dente pasta meets pan.

Flick and flip.  One dish.  Swipe.  Spoon to taste.

Click clack.  Spoon down, fork up.  Twirl up a tall mound of pasta.  Gently floats to meet plate.

Ping ting.  Fork down, spoon up.  Shrimp float around the edge.  Sauce drizzles all over.

“Shrimp pasta up.”The bass returns, the evening continues.

The dance continues all night long.
This is the cook.  The steps are etched in his muscles, the rhythm pulsing through his veins.  Each dinner, he executes the dance with flawless, inspired precision.

The chef?  The chef is the choreographer.

Her dance is one of creation, of trial and failure.  Her dance is unpredictable and uncertain.  She is inspired by other rhythms, other melodies.  She listens, she feels, she moves with experimentation.

The movement begins to tell a story.  It has passion, fire, gentility.  It inspires.  The steps take over the body and the mind until they become habit… Obsession.
The steps become fluid.
The rough edges smooth.
The recipe becomes a song.
The food becomes a story.
The plate becomes a dance between creator and audience.
This is the choreography of a chef.


For an inspired dance, check out this recipe for Lemon Cake