Andoni gets his stuff

Yesterday was hectic.  First I awoke to a dusting of snow.  No big deal, but the Boulder turnpike was a parking lot at 7:30am and the heavy spring snow became more intense as I got closer to Denver.  I took the toll road in to save time.

The school is being cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint.  So I came into a place that was a little bit in disarray.  The staff helped me unload my huge load of groceries.

My first goal was to get all of Chef Andoni Aduriz’s stuff consolidated so that he could get to work.  I have been in steady communication with his translator Elena who is an IACP member and has been dogging me about the various components that Andoni needs  (lots of Fed Ex shipments that are still rolling in).

But Chef Andoni is not the only one coming to the conference or with special needs.  Fairly early on in the morning I get a call from this lady in Arizona who is calling about a product I need called Cholla buds and Saguaro syrup.  I need both for a Native American cooking class.  Cholla buds are tiny cactus buds that apparently taste a little like artichokes.   They are a pain to harvest which explains the exorbitant price she was quoting me.  The Saguaro syrup is apparently even harder to harvest as it cost about $10 an oz.   Anyway I was going to have it Fed Exed, but since she was coming to the conference she was willing to bring it to me.  Not sure why she couldn’t have decided to do this a long time ago…………..oh well.

Elena called and said that Chef Andoni was on his way to pick up his food.  I madly gathered the last parts of his order and double checked it against my list (I just want to add that I have received two lists since I first started to work on his order).

He came and he checked his order along with his Sous Chef Oswaldo, who might look like “where’s Oswaldo” if he wore a little cap.  Both are very nice and every so often they looked at me and said can we get this in smaller size.  I was like what are you cooking for the smurfs?  They opened up snap peas and saw the pea size inside and said “can you find smaller”  Honestly Chef I can’t  get any smaller unless they were baby snaps.

I had this pea dish when I ate at his restaurant in 2005.  It was amazing.  A small bowl with a thin layer of miniature peas covered with a super flavorful gel.

They looked through all of their food order and I think they were suitably impressed that I had acquired as much as I had and that I understood the Chef’s language (Spanish and the language of ingredients).

I told them I would be meeting them at JWU to bring them more stuff.

Before he left I had one of my freshly graduated students snap this picture of us.


It seemed like just ten minutes after he left all the Fed Ex packages came flooding in.  His Kaolin clay, the Methyl Cellulose, the Xanthan gum and the Calcium oxide.

I spent the rest of the day organizing the food orders into different bags for the different chefs and check on the other scheduled deliveries.

At around 2 pm,  I get a call from Elena.  “I took them to Whole Foods and they saw these great sprouts that he wants you to get”  I said “why didn’t you buy them?”  Like I don’t have enough to do, that I need to trace your footsteps and purchase the stuff that caught your eye.

I gathered all the different chef’s bags loaded them up and headed to Italco where I picked some more stuff.  I had Tim Ziegler set up litle bags of herbs and spices to put into each of the chefs bags.

I rushed to JWU and dropped all the bags and gave Oswaldo the stuff they were seeking.

Then on to the Sheraton to drop off the bags of ingredients that will be used there and to have a meeting to go over details with my main contact with the management company Steve Gigantiello.

Home then straight to bed.  A long but successful day.


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