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I had lots of big moments in Chef Dan Kluger’s kitchen. One of them being – my first pizza. Yep, I made my very first pizza ever at ABC Kitchen. I was stretching and slinging dough….(Umm Chef? I think I’ve got a hole in my dough?!) Luckily Dan was there, teaching me the tricks to a perfect pizza, and what a pizza it was! Bright and unique with a bit of sweet and sour in every bite. Cherries. Arugula. Pickled Shallots. Crème Fraiche. So spectacular! Dan laughed at me for eating the majority of the two pizzas we made, myself.
After the pizza came the snap pea salad – with maybe the most swoon-worthy dressing I have ever tasted. The lettuces and the peas sprang to life with this citrus-y and parmesan concoction – bringing them to star status every time they hit my taste buds. You can really taste the quality of Dan’s ingredients in this simple vinaigrette dressing (which will work on just about anything) that manages to be salty, rich, bold and bright in every bite.
Cooking with Dan was truly a journey. Executing three dishes from start to finish while also admiring the work of a master! I loved watching Dan interact with the other chefs – especially the moments when he was quietly lost in doing what he loves best….making food to swoon over.
We had some very focused time – lots of storytelling and laughter, and favorite stories about food and family. The day was every bit as perfect as my dreams imagined it would be. One day, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to work ‘for real’ in a professional kitchen, but for now I’ll take these very special glimpses as an admiring home chef (or sous chef) of something I really love: Food in its creation. How lucky am I?
Photography by Chloe Crespi
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