Under Fire: Ahh, peaches

Our former Cafe Society intern just decided to chuck college in favor of a real education: as a sous chef. In Under Fire, he chronicles his daily trials and tribulations in the kitchen.

THREE DAY WEEKEND!!! WOOOO!!! While I'm not in school anymore, I still will take the liberty of enjoying this time off like I was. Since the restaurant is closed on Sundays, was closed on Labor Day and my day off is Tuesday, I found myself with more free time than I've had in a while.

Long story made very short, I went to Grand Junction and drove back with some stunning Palisade peaches and alfalfa-flower honey to go with them. We do a little three-course tasting dinner every Thursday, and I know these peaches will find a happy home there.

But first, it was back to work. Like an elementary-school vacation, this three-day weekend went by way too fast, and I was hit with a pleasant surprise when I walked into the restaurant yesterday. "It's ON tonight," my chef said as she deveined shrimp. "A 25, and 18, two 15s and an 8!"

We'd started prepping our asses off for the night ahead, when the bar manager came in with a look of shameful dismay, and told us the 25 had canceled, the 18 was up in the air (not looking good) and the two 15s were actually just one....Oh. Okay.

We still weren't going to be slow, but cooks work off the adrenaline of more, more, more -- so anything less than that is disappointing.

What wasn't disappointing were those peaches. I wanted to serve them whole, pit and everything, with a steak knife and fork -- that's it. As we began to come up with new ideas, though, it dawned on me the how drastically different the creative process is for incredible ingredients compared to mediocre ones.

With an A+ product, the ideal is to do nothing but subtly enhance or highlight it. What you want is to have a person take a bite and think, "That is so...so....peachy." With just-decent product, you have to add some distinct flavors to almost distract from the iffy quality of the food.

Needless to say, I am pushing to serve these fantastic peaches with nothing but a little honey.

And hopefully a steak knife.

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Tyler Nemkov
Contact: Tyler Nemkov