Family Gathering In La Jolla

Smokey grilled pork tenderloin with grilled shrimp chimichurri, broccolini and fresh made and browned gnocchi.

A family gathering for three separate groups descended on La Jolla last week. All had different requests and different situations, but all three had at least one great night.

Work makes me happy because I like taking care of people. Helping people stay relaxed and in vacation mode means a job well done. When I’m on vacation, I don’t like things that take me out of vacation mode. Traffic, poor customer service and injuries can thwart a good experience. Having a chef cook dinner while you spend time with your kids and grandkids is what vacation is about. Use that 3-4 hours before dinner to relax to the fullest. Take the time to breathe and be present with those closest to you. Instead of the alternative, which is usually getting gussied up and running out the door to make a reservation. Not to mention traffic, waiting to be seated, dealing with conversations coming from the left and right in a loud space, then waiting for the bill so you can finally leave and drive home. It’s all a lot easier to pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine and let me have your kitchen for an evening. Especially for a multi-generational family gathering.

What menus are chosen is always an exhibition of creativity, thoughtfulness and need. Sometimes the dietary restrictions and requests of the group. steer the direction of the menu. and my workload. Regardless of their needs, it’s always a pleasure to get them met. After all, the job of a personal chef is to meet the needs of the client. That usually forces me down culinary roads I might not have wandered into. But that direction forces wonderful creativity.