I finished another day at work and I realized how sad of a place I am working. The head chefs treat me like I am a complete idiot and yell a lot across the room at me and their other employees. I am not the kind of person that works well in a para military kitchen because I question authority.
I thought back today why I don’t feel that way about Chez Panisse and I realized that it all has to do with family. Chez Panisse is incredible because it isn’t just a restaurant it is an institution, a home that aims to teach each generation a simple, local, and delicious revolution. I was never yelled at or made to feel dumb for simply asking a question.
Restaurants have the power to radically change and inspire their employees to greatness or they can keep them down in boxes and make them feel worthless. I wonder how many talents are out there being abused and made to feel less than all because of egos in the restaurant industry. I for one will not be abused or abuse others. I hope to be a great teacher and knowledgeable chef who can teach the next generations just as Alice Waters has done.
It is why I have decided to throw in my butcher apron and replace it with a smaller restaurants waist apron, one with a bit more soul. Boot and Shoe is located in Oakland and is also a part of the Chez Panisse family, not to mention its only a few blocks from my house! They even have a vegan pizza on the menu! This new job will allow me time to work at Chez Panisse again as an intern and regain control of my life and who I am as an individual.
One of the things that is very important to me is food ethics, and it is why I am please to announce the March Against Monsanto coming your way on the 25th of May! For years Monsanto has sat in the background pulling strings like a puppeteer, and this March means education. Get involved, it is the most important battle of our generation. For more on Monsanto click here.
For now its time for a Chez Panisse cake recipe veganized….
Vegan Ginger Cake:
2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 C Molasses
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Grape seed Oil
1/4 c organic non-gmo soy milk
1/4 c applesauce
2 tsp baking soda
1 c boiling water
4 oz fresh ginger (chopped and then processed, do not grate or you will end up with fibrous strands, see pictures. When you cut it width first before processing or mincing it the fibers will be broken and it won’t feel like you have eaten a hair)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (yes 300)
2. Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, cinnamon, and clove).
3. Whisk or put your wet ingredients into a stand mixer for a few minutes until fully combined. In a few batches add the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
4. Pour your baking soda into the boiling water and add it along with the ginger to the batter until it is just incorporated. Pour the batter into a spring form that has been greased and has parchment on the bottom and bake for 50 minutes. After 40-50 minutes turn the temp up to 350 and bake 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I served mine with a bit of house made blood orange banana sorbet and some candied kumquats…but you can pair it with whatever you want.
Serves 12 🙂