It is sad to think that talent can often go unrecognized but that is the story of our lives. We work everyday to find our place in the sun, we strive for life experiences sometimes visual, other times physical and then there is that place, that place created by sight, smell and taste. A place where the gifted with deep memory banks and ability to blend can take us.
We are a culture defined by food and thank our lucky stars for that because we could easily be in a place where cereal and cold water is our morning meal or a place where water is the morning meal because grain has been devoured by locust of drought.
I am a foodie, I cook, I research I test but I am not a chef by any means. My friend Aaron Watson however is. I watch him cook like a proper student, over his kitchen stove and I succeed in feeding friends and family by virtue of trial and error by virtue of being allowed to watch him work.
He knew what he wanted to do out of life, he didn’t want to cook soul food, Aaron just wanted to cook. He comes from a family of free thinkers who bind themselves with honest to god familial love and that is probably the most important element of every recipe…love.
My childhood friend Aaron has worked up the ranks of countless places here in New York City. There was Geisha which was featured on the CW’s ‘Gossip Girl’, Daniel which is Madison Avenue’s premiere destination for clean, french epicurean delights, SD 26 where I really do not know what station he didn’t work at the time when my favorite television cast and rock band came to enjoy a meal after a late night broadcast. Now after a lot of sweat and stress he has a small boutique kitchen to call his own in Fort Green, Brooklyn. I am proud of my friend Aaron, I never grew up with goals or learning the importance of setting some. It was always just go to school and go to college and graduate…but what never any real though as to happens after?
Until this morning I didn’t understand what it meant to be a black chef in New York though I had my assumptions made early on by virtue of my experiences in other towns; especially when I attended Saint Louis University and I heard the “Sah”, “Yessah”, “Okay Shugah” the list goes on but for my best friend to be over looked in New York the “liberal capital” because of skin tone was something I could not ponder openly.
You see Aaron Watson is more than a friend, he’s my brother at heart. I can never see color when it comes to him, just talent. Aaron has the ability to see food in a way that I am only beginning to comprehend, without his tutelage in the culinary arts I really would not have a dating life…or just something I know I can do right when I feel like there is nothing in this world falling in place for me.
understanding in his profession has been therapy to me but being able to experience excellence has been nothing short of a blessing.
What are your favorite experiences with food?
And are you sick of Rachel Ray just like I am?