Dave Crum and Patrick Ryan
I have deep respect for chefs that know what they are doing and can execute great food whether it’s in a restaurant kitchen tricked out with top grade equipment or in the tiny kitchen of someone’s home. Chefs Dave Crum (chef-about-town, formerly with bluestem) and Patrick Ryan (Port Fonda) pictured above in the latter situation prepared an amazing five-course meal in late June 2011. The meal was orchestrated in the home of Tony Glamcevski, event and tour manager at Green Dirt Farm (read about my visit), and artist/curator Marcus Cain for a dinner honoring Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando.

I plan to write more extensively about Rancho Gordo and its heirloom beans, corn, grains, and chiles in another post. For now, I’m sharing this moment of two chefs in action. The pots and equipment crammed on the counters only hint at the hours of preparation and cooking involved in this meal.

Besides my admiration for these chefs, who both bust tail to make spectacular food in this city, I like the patterns in the frame that subtly convey the inherent activity. Dave’s red-and-white vertical striped apron, Patrick’s plaid shirt, the tattooed stars on the forearm and the grid pattern of earthy brick combine into a visual jam. Hints of red (how many can you count?) pop up throughout the kitchen. Red is associated with cultural symbolism – danger, fire, love, blood. Here, red is part of a sensory palette that doesn’t begin to hint at the flavors and aromas held in those pots and pans.

A kitchen is kinetic. It’s designed for action. Some think of that action as work. I consider the kitchen as a theater for action and performance, a studio for art, a lab for experimentation, a hearth for camaraderie and love, an altar to worship life in the form of food and drink. This photo captures that energy, passion and reverence in the late afternoon glow of calm expertise. Amen.