Chef’s Life: Do I cook at home?
Everyone is always curious about a chef’s life. “Do I cook at home?” is probably the question I’m asked most. If I cook at home it’s for two reasons: I’m either burned out or I just came back from one of my travels and I’m so inspired that I want to cook, cook, cook. If I’m burned out I like to invite friends over for dinner. Call me crazy but cooking up a feast makes me feel better.
Some mornings, possessed by what I call “travel passion” I will jump out of bed and run to the kitchen and raid my refrigerator after a trip. Today was one of those days and luckily, I had some heirloom tomatoes from Sofia’s Market Garden. I sautéed them with onions, and garlic in olive oil. Luckily, we had some frozen hash browns and cooked those up to a crisp making the perfect topping to my egg dish. If you’re going to cook this at home throw a mimosa while you are at it! Why not?! Life is short.
The truth is I love to cook at home. Although I enjoyed cooking for my family as a child growing up, I didn’t know I was going to be a chef. Everyone warned me of pains of chef life: working on your feet, the heat, the grueling hours of the kitchen life. There were horror stories of cooks abusing alcohol and cocaine (well I grew up in the 70’s in the disco days). It was a man’s world and no place for a little girl like me.
However, owning my own restaurant has made me aware that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be balance work and enjoy your life. Yes, I consider myself a workaholic but I am reasonable in the sense that I like to dabble in a few things rather than just obsessing in one. The chef of today creates balance and lives a fit lifestyle. Focusing on hiring the right people who share your vision is very important. One cannot do it alone. Those “Devil in the kitchen” days are over and no longer respected.
Although I’m a travel blogger, a consultant, a restauranteur, I much rather be described as a passionate, motivated Latina chef. I eat well and exercise so that I can be part of your world and I can invite you into mine. Being a good role model and inspiration to other girls is very important to me.
Don’t get me wrong I still work 15 hours days and wake up at 5 am every morning. Most of my chef friends think I’m crazy because I’m always obsessing. I’ve just learned to appreciate those moments in life when passion possesses me. The older I get I look forward to cooking breakfast in my pajamas with kinky morning hair, blaring Latin tunes and serving up mimosas! It’s my calling! However, if you find me in your kitchen one morning, making breakfast for you don’t get all crazy and scream “How did you get in to my house!”
Poached Eggs in Sofia’s Tomatoes
- 6 Large eggs
- 4 large heirloom tomatoes or 6 small ones
- ¼ diced onion3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup of fresh chopped cilantro
- Pinch of oregano
- Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
- Pinch of flaky sea salt to taste
- Pinch of black pepper to taste
- Pinch of garlic salt
- ¼ cup of chicken or vegetable stock or water
Heat large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt butter, add olive oil and onions, garlic and cook until they are transparent. Add tomatoes and seasonings, and cook until soft. Add stock or water and bring to a boil and then bring it to a simmer. Let the sauce cook for 4 minutes. Crack the eggs carefully to pan, cover the pan with a lid and let them poach for 4-6 minutes until the egg whites are set but the egg yolks are still runny. Serve warm. Spoon your eggs over toast and enjoy it with and a mimosa!
About Chef Rosie O’Connor
Rosie O’Connor is the chef owner of Provecho Grill in Menifee and Xicana (coming soon). She is a Food Writer for Menifee Buzz and Valley News. She is also the winner of Farmer’s Market Flip, Season One, Episode One.