I can’t believe that it’s been a year since we launched Italian by Night. It was two and a half years ago that Liz sat in my living room sharing her dream of one day opening an Italian restaurant and I made the infamous faux pas, ‘gosh, you don’t seem to know much about Italian cooking.’ My foot-in-mouth disease spilled all over the carpet! She is still teasing me about it.
It’s been an incredible journey over tough terrain. For those of you who are new to ‘bite’, I am the Italian Food Artist at a tiny little Osteria in eastern Canada that during the day is a trendy deli owned by Elizabeth Rowe and Gord Hewitt. I know – not possible… How could anyone run two completely different styles of food out of the same space. Crazy but not impossible.
Beyond the challenges of cooking Italian food in a deli kitchen, has been both the negative and positive reaction to us daring to. For me, to dare to take on the role of executive chef, creating the menus and procedures necessary to deliver authentic honest Italian food when I’m not a chef. That’s why my title is Food Artist. For Liz, to dare to transform her deli by day into a casual fine dining experience in the evening – Italian by Night. It was unheard of, and yet, here we are days away from celebrating our first anniversary.
I’ve never feared my life’s path. There’s been many times when I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to succeed but I’ve never been afraid to try. Making sense of any negative reaction has led me to understand, that for some, criticizing is a coping mechanism for their own fears and disappointments. I can’t own that. Enjoying the positive reaction has been my fuel! Fulfilled team mates, wonderfully kind dinner guests and my own sense of accomplishment makes it real and good.
I often judge the significance of what I’m doing by thinking of whether or not, when I’m an old lady, I’ll look back on this time with pride or regret. These will be happy memories…
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Chilies
6 baby bok Choy, washed and left whole
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 scallion, sliced
1 fresh red hot pepper, seeded and sliced thin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Place the baby bok Choy standing upright in a steamer.
Steam until fork tender
Meanwhile, warm oils in a large skillet over medium high heat
Add ginger, garlic, spring onion, hot pepper and sesame seeds.
Sauté gently then remove from heat.
When bok Choy are finished steaming, place them in the warm oil and toss
THE LOVE: Make sure that you don’t burn the ginger mixture. Saute gently!
Thanks for reading.