Inspiration can come from anywhere, not just Michelin starred chefs. My foray into the blogosphere has afforded me the opportunity to read incredible blogs. More importantly, I have met a unique group of positive, giving, and supportive cooks. Silvia Gregori, a personal chef from San Francisco, is one of the very best. Her marvelous blog, Citron & Vanille, is well-written and enlightening. Servicing the greater Bay Area, she provides personal chef services, dinner party meals, and cooking classes. Her cuisine is fused with French and Italian influences, reflecting her distinctive familiar background. I like to think of her cooking as Mediterranean chic.
Growing up in Nancy, France, Silvia developed a great love of the land and respect for gardening. Her grandfather, a skilled gardener, grew radicchio, cardoons, green beans, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, carrots, and fava beans. This influence has stayed with her throughout her life. Her repertoire is all-embracing, including poultry, meat, fish, beans, vegetables, and eggs. Upon moving to San Francisco she was exposed to the eclectic Bay Area food scene and readily incorporated new ideas to explore.
Reading her blog, you realize that her courses exhibit balance and harmony. The plating of her dishes is a master study in color, contrast, and texture. Silvia parallels her thought process of presenting a dish to accessorizing clothes. When you choose an outfit, the shoes must match the dress, while the accessories must complement the main piece. Some of the tantalizing dishes you will find on her website are Grilled Fennel Salad with Red Onions, Almond Shrimp with Broccoli Puree, Chive Crepes with Marinated Salmon and Leek Mustard Sauce, and a decadent Chocolate Pot de Crème. If you reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, book Silvia Gregori for your next dinner party. Trust me, you will not regret it.
Inspiration is stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling. Food can rouse in countless ways. As with any major creative endeavor, passion, intelligence, and patience are required of the cook. And when these forces match the cook’s inspiration, magic happens.