memorable meals

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by redace1960, May 13, 2005.

  1. redace1960

    redace1960

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    I've been thinking about this for a month. After searching, I wasn't able to find anything like this in the archives, so if it HAS been asked before, forgive me!
    Anyone had a meal that was so good it changed the way they thought about food?
    Back in 1979 (when dinosaurs ruled the earth) a date took me to an extremely upscale japanese restaraunt in Portland Oregon-wish I could think of the name but all i remember is that it WASN'T a benihanas. What I do recall, and with great love, were the vegetables laced with an arabesque of panko, and the glorious sashimi. No big deal, right? But a first for me. I never, never imagined that food could taste that good and just be.....food. My date looked on in horror at the sashimi; irregardless of which i polished the sapsucker off by myself.
    It was so incredible and delicate and delicious I had to pretend to go to the bathroom because I was tearing up.
    This one meal completely changed the way I cooked. It was my first encounter with the concept of respect for ingredients.
     
  2. kerryclan

    kerryclan

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    Oh, yes. I was 19 years old (just after the Big Bang) and an older date who had very refined taste in food took me to Manero's steak house here in NYC.

    I had my first medium rare, aged, perfectly grilled NY strip steak. The flavor and texture was amazing. It was at this point that I remember thinking about how something as common and simple as a steak, when done right, can be so wonderful. My appreciation of good cooking grew tremendously from that point on.
     
  3. chrose

    chrose

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    Both my parents were good cooks and enjoyed a wide variety of foods, so we were fairly well versed eaters when we were young. When I was around 11 or so my parents belonged to a "Gourmet Club" where they would get together at a members house once a month or so and they would make a theme dinner or just go all out. I remenber that my parents made once a Russian Coulbiac that was out of this world, but the most memorable was the Tenderloin stuffed with Lobster tails and served with a brandy Beurre Blanc.............oh my my I can still taste it! That might have been my number one, also once as a gift they were given some live Lobsters flown in from Maine and we had a feast and lastly we used to have a beach house on the Chesapeake Bay and every summer i would catch and we would eat a ton of Blue Crabs :lips: all these things made me realize how incredible food could taste and also how family oriented food could be as well.
     
  4. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know that I have one whole meal that I could call a revelation that opened my eyes and set me on a new course in life, but I do have a number of meals, and first times eating a food, that stick in my mind as important events in my culinary life. My first jalapeno pepper (or any chile) at about age 9 or 10. This was an eye opener, how could anything so painful be so good!!!! This was the start of a lifelong love affair with chiles. Along with that, my first taste of a chipotle pepper, many years later and the concept of dried chiles entered my culinary repetorie. One meal that changed my life was my first dinner in a French Bistro, at the age of 21. It was NYC. I can't remember the name of the place, but I remember my dinner there. It reads like a greatest hits list of bistro fare. Onion Tart, Salad Lyonnaise, and Cassoulet. I never could have imagined, at that time, that these foods, so different from what I grew up with, could be so similar and comforting. Then there was my first meal at an Indian restaurant, years later, in Atlanta. Before then I had had a little exposure to the cuisine, but didn't think much about it. After dinner at this place, a little hole in the wall, I had a whole new flavor profile to experiement with, and am still just dabbling in all the spices and flavors of the Indian subcontinent. But if I had to choose one meal that really opened my eyes to what food could be, it would be dinner at Gary Dankos in SF. Here is my review of that restaurant:
    http://www.cheftalkcafe.com/forums/s...ght=gary+danko

    I could continue on, with my first experience with lobsters, my first taste of foie gras, but you get the idea.
     
  5. mangilao30

    mangilao30

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    When I first met my husband, for the first time in my life, I ate and throughly loved European food. In the span of 2-3 months, my usual Asian roots went out the window. Here's a breakdown of the highlights:

    1. Terrine of monkfish liver, with caviar.
    2. Fois gras on brioche with a confit of sweet carrots and orange rind
    3. Spaghetti with botarga
    4. Steak tartar
    5. White truffle risotto
    6. Anything with baccala


    I never knew many of these foods existed or had only read about them, truffles for example. I've eaten all the exotic Asians food to be had but these foods really opened my eyes to all the variety the is out in this wide, wide world. Two years later, I've eaten just about everything that's been put in front of me and don't regret a thing.
     
  6. harpua

    harpua

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    Yea, it was actually just a plain old mexican restaurant for me. As a child, I just ordered the same old tacos and stuff, but my sister's boyfriend ordered pollo a la diabla one night and I tasted it. It doesn't sound eye opening, but honestly, it was very HOT and TASTY. This is was turned me on to hot chiles, mexican food, enchilada sauces from scratch, you get the idea. It also opened me up to spice. ALL my food has to be spicy hot now. All of it.

    After that, I was getting deep fried whole snapper smothered with that diabla sauce, and now I always get it as a side when I go to that partcular restaurant. OOOoohhhh... diabla sauce..... where have you been all my life?