Posted by Norm King
Born in Louisiana to a military family, I was destined to travel…Colorado, Nebraska, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, France, Switzerland, Corsica, New Jersey, Florida, Washington, and Oregon, I called all of these places home–some of them 2 or 3 times. Traveling as much as we did, we spent our share of time in restaurants, it was our respite from the mild horror of picking up and leaving after finally getting settled in somewhere…I guess it was inevitable that I would end up working in restaurants — it was the closest thing to home that I knew!
So, that’s what I did. Chain Restaurants first, then Culinary School, then, French/Swiss/German, Italian, Seafood (lots of those), Steakhouses, Private Clubs, Nouvelle Cuisine, then, Lake Tahoe Hotels, Reno Hotels, and Vegas Hotels (Caesars, most notably).
I can’t bear Food Reality Shows, but I guess lawyers don’t watch “Law and Order,” either. I never met a food I didn’t like, but I won’t try insects (Honey, notwithstanding). My little adventure has taken place almost entirely in, around, or thinking about food and restaurants. My long time addiction to Nicotine (finally kicked) shortened my tenure as a full time Chef, but my career is hardly over. I’m busier than ever, paying forward what I have seen and what I have learned to anyone who will listen. What a long, strange trip it’s been, as they say.
It’s a freakin’ dumpling, what’s the big deal? Well, for some people, Italian and otherwise, the origins, meanings, recipes, and identities of Gnocchi are not only a big deal, but a deal breaker for friendship and respect. Most people are adept at avoiding workplace discussions about religion and politics. But once chefs start talking about Gnocchi, the uninitiated should take cover and roll cameras—the drama is about to begin!
Eggs or no eggs? This question alone has destroyed otherwise established alliances…what shape? Short cylinders or fork rolled? Should the potatoes be mashed hot or cold? Or should they be ground? Or grated? Or Screened? Or Riced? Nutmeg, or no nutmeg? Bolognese, Marinara, or Gorgonzola sauce? You get the idea.