Frying Like a 6 Year Old, Salting Like a Man

Once in a while you come across a chef whose culinary acumen exceeds your wildest anticipation, whose sense of style outshines your most lurid food fantasies.  Their accomplishments are legendary, their followers legion, and their place in the pantheon of food history vouchsafed by critics and public alike.  Then there are those chefs who toil in obscurity, seeking not fortune or fame, but the more ephemeral limelight of the home cooked meal.  But when they are good, they are very good.  These are the chefs whose unstoppable energy, unflappable enthusiasm, and indefatigable zeal can recast for diners the very tapestry of cooking itself.  They make cooking more personal, dining more passionate, and reveling in the flavor of food more intimately bound up in life’s vital force.  These are the chefs that provide you with the olive oil and lemon simplicity of fresh fruit de mer pasta that you absently lick from your lips as you gaze into the glittering harbor from a Mediterranean piazza, or the tartiflette you wolf down in the fluorescent-lit kitchen of a motorcyclist you’ve picked up with somewhere on a long road trip through the heart of your incorrigible youth.  I know one such chef, a creature of cunning and instinct, a booming and uncontrollable beast whose unprovoked antics make Chef Gordon Ramsay seem like a snoozing churchmouse by comparison. But we tolerate him out of adoration for his genius in the kitchen.

Here is a chronology of the chef at work, making the eternal masterpiece that is a fried egg sandwich.

“Put some eggs in this bowl and mix them with a spoon.”

“Put a little butter in the pan and melt it.

“You fry it”

“You need bread to put the egg on.”

“When it’s on the bread you can have some pepper. Not very much.”

“To put on the fleur de sel you have to use your fingers to sprinkle it.”
[French fleur de sel de l'Ile de Re is this chef's favorite sea salt for a fried egg sandwich.]

“So, this is how you do it.”

fleur de sel
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5 Responses to “Frying Like a 6 Year Old, Salting Like a Man”

  1. on 17 Jul 2010 at 11:33 amKristina

    great post! that sandwich looks delicious!

  2. on 18 Jul 2010 at 12:38 pmlynn

    good work young man! when i was about his age, my mom taught me how to make poached eggs…”when the toast pops up, eggs are ready!”

  3. on 20 Jan 2012 at 9:10 pmJan

    I just received a salt bowl as a gift & haven’t used it yet. I’m wondering if I can mix eggs in it to get the salt flavor, then fry them. Does the bowl have to seasoned if I only plan to use it for cold foods like sorbets & salads?

  4. on 30 Jan 2012 at 2:55 pmMark Bitterman

    Jan – You don’t need to season your bowl at all – the bowl is seasoning! You pose an interesting question about the eggs, though. I personally haven’t tried that technique; I’m certain that you’ll succeed in salting the egg mixture, but my only concern is that you won’t have very fine control over how salty it gets. Give it a shot though, and do let us know how it turns out!

  5. on 30 Jan 2012 at 2:56 pmMark Bitterman

    Jan – You don’t need to season your bowl at all – the bowl is seasoning! You pose an interesting question about the eggs, though. I personally haven’t tried that technique; I’m certain that you’ll succeed in salting the egg mixture, but my only concern is that you won’t have much control over how salty it gets. Give it a shot though, and do let us know how it turns out!

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