After our incredible meal at Momofuku, we geared up…hats, gloves, coats…and braced ourselves for the crisp, frigid New York air. We were back on the streets with one destination in mind. Dean and Deluca! The Food Toy* Museum! The moment I walked in, all of my senses took over! Visually, I didn’t know where to rest my eyes. I found myself walking up to a display of fruit and lingering, like I did when I first cast my eyes on The Birth of Venus in Florence. The textures, vibrant colors and brilliance were breath taking! I glanced at Devon and saw the sparkle in his eye! The four of us then began our tour! We stopped in front of the beer cooler, where Devon and Todd began to analyze and compare the ones they had already sampled and mentally making a list of new ones to try. Then we went past the oils and vinegars. We found balsamics ranging in many different shapes, colors and flavors. My heart was racing. The flavors where swirling in my mouth as I envisioned what Devon would create for our Baltimore dinner.
You see, we had come here to be inspired. When we returned to Baltimore, with Todd and Chris Ann on Monday, we had a dinner planned. As always, Devon plays the roll of executive chef (shouting out orders to the rest of us) and Todd, is his sous chef (taking in Devon’s instructions and anticipating his every need!) It is a must when we are together. We all fall into rank. Chris Ann is faithfully keeping the wine glasses full and adding the details to my tablescaping at the same time! Over the years we have found our rhythm and rhyme (Devon’s sing song approach to cooking is something to experience!) in dinner planning, preparing and sharing!
So, as we perused Dean and Deluca, we were all looking for the “Aha!” moment. We continued our journey to the back of the store, past the salts…sampled an amazing truffle salt…that flavor stayed with me through the rest of the day! Then we made our way back to the front of the store. There were many incredible food toys…but Devon had not yet found his muse. As we made our way back to the vegetables…my eyes landed on baby cauliflower in shades of orange, purple and white. Some were round in shape and others spiral! The plate painting began to take shape in my mind! I called Chris Ann over, and being a fellow artist, it didn’t take her long to enter into my canvas! We called the boys over but being practical (and in charge of our weekend budget), Todd and Devon quickly pointed out the price tag. Ok, it would have been no less then $60 worth of cauliflower to serve at our dinner party. Our canvas quickly went blank! Then, Devon pointed to the basket right next to the pricey cauliflower. The sign read, “Sea beans“. Devon pinched a piece and went into artist mode. Before he finished his nibble, he laid out our entree for Monday’s dinner…macadamia encrusted rockfish, with a lime cardamom beurre blanc and sea beans.
We all lingered for a moment, taking in the brilliance of what had just been spoken. As we came to our senses, we quickly gathered up our treasure and headed back out to the cold. We were somehow warmer. The sights outside clearer! There was a confidence in our steps. Our visit to the Food Toy Museum* had not failed to disappoint…we left inspired!
*Food Toy definition: A purchase at the grocery store that is considered a splurge! Something that you’ve always wanted to try, or just discovered, that is a bit pricey but necessary! We believe every trip to the market justifies one food toy purchase!