Sunday, January 8, 2012

A quick look homeward as I start my next adventure

I’ve just arrived in Lasarte-Oria, Guipuzkoa, a small town outside San Sebastian in the Basque Country. I  traveled for twenty-six hours through Dallas, Frankfurt, and Bilbao. Now I'm so tired, I can't sleep.

Yes, I’m tired, but mostly I’m excited. I’m thrilled for my new job, which I’ll start on Wednesday. I’m itching to go for a run through my new town. I’m dying to go grocery shopping and fill my refrigerator with vegetables, cheeses and txakoli wine.

I’m anxious too, because this level of cooking- three Michelin stars, in Europe, at a gorgeous, respected restaurant- is the highest level I’ve experienced in my career thus far. So how does this young cook deal with nerves? I’m telling myself that I can do it, and I’m thinking about all my wonderful experiences and supportive friends and family who have helped me get here.

So before I start this next adventure in earnest, I'll share some of the beautiful food moments from the past couple weeks. I’m so fortunate that my family embraces and celebrates food. I am fortunate to have friends who value food, and to come from a region that produces some of the best food in the world. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of my holiday meals.

My Ninong Tom carves the lechon for Noche Buena. Roast pig...mmmmm

My father and my uncle, making our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast on Christmas morning

The gorgeous fruits of their labor with the mandatory Lingonberry sauce

Christmas dinner is my grandfather's recipe: garlic-studded, bacon-wrapped rib roast.

Mise en place often involves champagne right up in there with the brussel sprouts.

The Selby men attend to the festive colors of the dining table

Carving the roast, which was a little overdone this year. Chickie wouldn't have been pleased!

With Mama and my friend Caroline at my send-off dinner last week

Just before opening the buffet with Pantesca salad, kale Caesar, risotto, veal breast and lasagne.

That's the last collection of photos from home. For the next six months, it’s going to be all new surroundings, all new faces, and all new challenges.

Stay tuned! Good night...


  1. yahoo!!! have so much fun...can't wait to read more!!

  2. Thanks for reading Jen!

    Ninong- what does that mean? I have to go ask someone who speaks Basque because I sure don't (yet...) maybe it has to do with champagne? :-)