Resting insecurities.

I tried something new today. Not avocado toast. It’s a faithful friend, which we’ll get to later. Something completely new. I put myself out there in order to put a nagging cooking insecurity to rest.

A few weeks ago:
After stopping in for a solo steak at a delicious farm-to-table restaurant in Santa Monica called Rustic Canyon, I asked to speak to the Executive Chef, Evan Funke. During the dinner rush of course, which is a restaurant no-no I remembered a few seconds after I asked. But towards my last few bites of steak, he agreed and asked me back into the kitchen.

As I carefully pushed open the swinging black door into the hot and buzzing kitchen, I faced a ring of line cooks surrounding a large, tatooed man (Chef Evan) making homemade pasta… quickly. The conversation was brief, but it basically consisted of me asking to work for free to gain kitchen experience and Chef Evan, after a quick grill about my experience, agreeing. Working for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes seemed to seal the opportunity because once he heard that, he relaxed into the idea. I guess he figured I would at least not drop a knife on someone’s foot. Which is probably true, unless I’ve had too much sugar or caffeine, then all bet’s are off.

At 8:30 this crystal blue California morning, I jockeyed my way through the Santa Monica farmers’ market looking for a chef I had met only once. I found him negotiating with a wonderful heirloom tomato farmer, whose sun-dried tomatoes, by the way, I would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s now 9:30pm, and I just got home. Tired feet and smelly hair, yes, but satisfied and relieved that I survived a day in a professional kitchen. The balloon of my insecurity has just been pricked with a pairing knife.

I learned a lot today, and I suspect I might have experienced a few universal kitchen truths in one very condensed day.

For instance:
The professional kitchen hormone scale is quite obviously tipped towards testosterone.
Kitchen work is hot. It’s tough, and it’s fast.
The technique is not overly complicated, but it’s clearly difficult to master.
The f-bomb is the most commonly used adjective within 5 feet of industrial kitchen stoves.

And I learned a few things about myself:
I don’t want to become a professional restaurant chef.
I can hang.

I actually got to stand next to and study the line cook who was cooking the meat for the dinner rush. The day’s worth of scrubbing mussels with a brillo, prepping 20 bunches of kale and roasting 3 cases of tomatoes was worth the 2 hours I was parked next to him. It’s easy to say that now… while I was earning a blister with the brillo, I contemplated walking. But looking back, I will probably sign up for this arrangement another time or two, if they will have me. It was an amazing education. I am very grateful to Chef Evan for opening his doors to me.

With all that said, I want to offer a new experience to you, too! A simple recipe for Avocado Toast. I eat this before big days, like today, because avocados are filled with healthy fats, which keep a belly full for hours.

Click HERE for the Avocado Toast recipe…

xo – Organic Spark

13 comments


  • The Little Family

    yum… I could eat a diced avocado with lime juice, salt & pepper every day and not tire of it ~the only way it makes me happier is with a diced heirloom tomato tossed in! I've never tried it on toast, though (and being in England, they put EVERYTHING on toast, so I'll have to give it a try!)

    :)

    September 20, 2009
  • Paige at The Spice House

    Hey, I thought avocado on toast was only my favorite snack! Nice to see actual professionals doing it too. Mine's less fancy, though – no butter on the toast and I just cut my avocado in half and mush it up in the rinds before smearing it on toast.

    Coincidentally, The Litte Family, I started doing this while living in Britain… better than the noodles on toast my roommate was eating!

    September 20, 2009
  • Came-RAW-n

    yum! I feel so much better knowing that there is someone else out there who likes mashed avocado on toast! I told my co-workers about it and they though I was crazy!

    I like to add chopped cilantro to mine! :)

    September 20, 2009
  • candyce

    aw this is such a comforting snack! i used to have it as a kid for breakfast… now any avo's leftover become a toasty snack. :)

    September 21, 2009
  • Dannielle

    I tried this today with some potatoes and eggs and loved it! New snack. I just used half a slice of toast and 1/4 of the avocado because it was more of a side. Then I got to thinking…soft scrambled egg and melted cheddar with mashed avocado on toast…must try later. Thanks for the inspiration!

    September 21, 2009
  • The Wind Attack

    I love avocado toast, and I am jealous of your kitchen experience at rustic canyon. I still need to try that place.

    September 21, 2009
  • madness rivera

    Hell yes, you can hang. F those boys.

    Love the autumn look!

    September 22, 2009
  • AshleyZ

    So interesting to read your new blog post – I started an internship at a vegan restaurant 2 months ago, and have been blogging my experience. I did it the opposite, choosing instead to do the internship in lieu, or before as it may turn out, culinary school. The first week is painful, literally, but will get better. If you are interested, I will send you my blog. Good luck!

    September 27, 2009
  • organicfood

    There are so many temptations around us that we don't even know what to eat. Everything is chemical, toxic, bad for us…Organic food is a ray of hope in what healthy food is concerned, if you ask me.

    September 29, 2009
  • Olga Sofia

    Hi Molly!
    Love your blog!!, we natural gourmet girls are definetively not very much of the restaurant type, I am glad I'm not alone.
    Hugs

    September 30, 2009
  • Ivanna

    I die for this snack and eating it weekly, I've found that the trick to it is to put olive oil on toasted bread so it is a little softer, spread avocado and top with red pepper flakes, lemon juice and s&p. Perfection!

    October 1, 2009
  • Making Progress

    What a small small world! I actually stumbled across your blog in trying to find a specific recipe. I was drawn to your avocado toast post and saw that you used to work for the Cruises. An old friend of mine has worked for them for the last two years…what are the odds??? Congrats on your internship! You can never have enough experience! Best to you!

    October 24, 2009
  • Viagra Online

    Have you ever tasted avocado with cucumber tomato and lettuce in a salad It is great as your recipe I've never tried with toast but it is delicious.

    August 24, 2010

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