Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And the Secret Ingredient Is.....

In their early years, my kiddos were obsessed with anything from Walt Disney or PBS. We had boxes and boxes of VHS  videos tucked in the corner of the living room supporting this habit. We would troll the local library, checking out any movie featuring princesses, dinosaurs, muppets or the alphabet.  Graham and I knew every song and every line of those shows by heart. Not a bad thing, but there were times we longed for entertainment that did not involve dancing letters or talking animals. Then, in 1999, Food Network came to our rescue. That was the year we stumbled across this stroke of genius.

You remember this don't you? Iron Chef America?? It was a cooking show from Japan that was dubbed in English.  It was fast paced- knives and ingredients were flying all over the screen. Our whole family was entranced, even my toddler couldn't take his eyes off the TV set. We never missed an episode. The head honcho was a man named Chairman Kaga who ran the whole thing like P.T. Barnum.  Our  favorite chef was- hands down-  Masaharu Morimoto. He's the gentleman in the silver outfit and he specialized in Japanese cuisine. He was all business, all the time.

Fast forward sixteen years. Lots of things have changed since those days of blankies, pacifiers, and green shag carpet. VHS videos are now a thing of the past. Movies from the library can be checked out while waiting in line at the grocery store.  And I think Ariel now qualifies for an AARP discount at IHOP. But here's the thing I never saw coming. These days, I am crazy about sashimi - as in, I would eat it every day if I could afford it.

I never used to understand when people would talk about how they loved sushi. I couldn't imagine why anyone would  choose to eat something uncooked, let alone something that wasn't covered in cream gravy. But the first time I finally got the courage to try a tiger roll, I was hooked.  And from that point on, everything picked up speed until I was completely devoted to raw fish. 

When my birthday rolled around a few months ago, Graham said, "I know exactly where we should go to celebrate. It's in Philly and you're gonna love it. Trust me." Graham is the best at surprises- it's one of his super powers. So I knew it would be good. I put on some lipstick and out the door we went.

And sure enough, Graham totally knocked it out of the park. This year he took me to this gorgeous place- Morimoto's. Needless to say, things have changed a lot for my favorite Iron Chef since the '90's. He now owns ten restaurants and no longer wears a silver uniform to work. But the one thing that hasn't changed? He still makes stunning, delicious food.

This is the meal he prepared for me that night. That is some crazy impressive talent.  And even though Chairman Kaga wasn't around to run the show? Bambi knows there's no way he can compete with a meal that.

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