Thursday, July 19, 2007


Well. First, I will provide a picture of the taste-test that Joleen and I gave Sunny. I think it kind of looks like Sunny is wearing a Burger King crown on his head. Haha. Also, I forgot to mention that Joleen smashed up all the foods so Sunny couldn't tell what things were based on shape or texture. And the guy I called sous chef in the last post was really the chef d'cousine. Or something. Whatever.I also learned how to load and shoot a gun. Joleen taught me. We went to the shooting range. It was scary. Guns are scary. It was a 9mm Ladysmith. The little gun for "the ladies." I don't think I was very good at aiming, but it was hard to tell because Joleen and I wree sharing the same target and she shot the first round. So here's a pic of me shooting. And a pic of me holding the target after we finished. So don't mess with me or I'll cap yo' ass!

I ate at The French Laundry, as you all know. Sunny ended up going with Joleen and I instead of Joleen's friend due to various and unimportant reasons. Which I think we were all glad about even thought it meant spending more money for Joleen and Sunny. At the same time that we were eating there, so were Gisele and Tom Brady. Neither Joleen nor I knew who Tom Brady was. Oops. I just read last night that Gisele is the highest paid model in the world. They are both attractive people. I had a great view of them the whole time. They fed each other and ended up making out. Here's a picture of Joleen and I outside TFL. I cannot stress enough how much I HATE how I look in this picture. My hair kept blowing all over and my bangs don't stay behind my in order to get it to not blow all over my face I had to plaster it to my head for the picture. And it still got in my face. Ugh. Anyway, enjoy the ugliness.

So, we ended up get super VIPed at TFL. Because Sunny was with us. We would have been VIPed even if Sunny didn't come with us, but the 'super' came because of him. Sunny said we were VIPed more than Gisele and Tom Brady. Haha. We had a total of 20 courses!! Holy shite! I asked Sunny to get a menu for me, but I don't have it yet because they have to print it out special since we didn't have the normal menu. Amongst the things we tried: escargot, caviar, fois gras, oysters, bone marrow (??), and lobster. Plus lots of other stuff. They even special-made a few dished for us. Joleen and I always make spaghetti with pickles. Sunny must have told them that. so they brought out the pasta dish and said, "We call this spaghetti with pickles." Haha. I had told Sunny the day before that my favorite dessert ever was the chocolate lava cake from my Carnival cruise. Sunny told the pastry person that the morning of, so our last dessert was chocolate lava cake. How nice. However...

I actually didn't get to enjoy half the food. After 10 courses they brought out the lobster. I don't know what it was (smell?), but I felt super noxious. I had to actually get up and go to the bathroom because I thought I was going to throw up. This lasted the rest of the meal. They stopped serving me my food because it was making me feel ill. So everything after course 10 I either didn't eat or just tried a tiny bit from Joleen's plate. Which sucked a lot. But what can you do? I was freaking out because 1) I'm paying $240 and I'm not even eating half of it??, and 2) I felt like I was insulting the chefs who were making all this stuff just for us and I wasn't even eating it. Oh well. BUT...they ended up not charging me at all, so that was very nice. I guess I'm just not cut out for fine dining. I only took one picture of our food because it wasn't turning out very well (flash too bright) and I felt dumb taking pictures. But here's the one picture I took. It's a sashimi-type thing. There's a white sauce that you can't really see. The thing on the left is a cherry.

On the last day we rode bikes to a winery (can't remember the name of the winery...what was it, Joleen?) Don something or other, I think. We brought bread, fruit, and cheese. Then we bought the cheapest pink champagne and had a picnic on the grounds. I loved the cups we used for the champagne. Sunny had a plastic stein and Joleen and I had plastic Rainbow Brite cups. Haha.

Joleen and I also went to a noraebang one night. There's an Asian strip mall near Berkeley that has a noraebang. Technically, it's not a noraebang because it's Chinese, but it's the same thing. So that was awesome. Brought me back to the days of Korea. The good days of Korea. We also ate at a Korean restaurant in San Francisco where I got to eat some kimchi chiggae and bulgogi. Yum.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hell's Kitchen: Yountville

So, as you probably know, I'm in Yountville visiting Joleen. Yountville is just north of Napa, fyi. I've done many things thus far (including damaging 3 toenails to the point where I think they'll fall off), but first I'm going to write about the most recent thing we've done.

So, have you seen Hell's Kitchen? It's that cooking show/competition with Chef Gordon Ramsay. There's 2 teams of "chefs" who compete and get yelled at and stuff. Anyway, my first comment about that show is that when you watch it you think that Ramsay is a total dick. He's all yelling and swearing at the people and kicking them out of the kitchen and stuff. I thought it was all for show. You know, he's only that bad because it's a tv show and it makes for interesting viewing. Anyway, according to Sunny, he's not bad AT ALL. If anything, he's relatively tame as far as head-kitchen people go. Sunny says that it's MUCH worse at the French Laundry. The Sous Chef (or whatever he's called...the dude in charge of the kitchen...which isn't Thomas Keller because I guess he's rarely there) is worse than Ramsay. He yells things. A lot. He used to love hitting Sunny on the forehead with a spoon. Sunny says he holds the record for getting kicked out of the kitchen. Haha! I guess Corey (the sous chef guy...who happens to also be Korean) used to hate him. Apparently, they've even had people have a heart attack back there because of the stress. And want to talk about labor law violations? They've got to be up there on the list.

As a brief aside, 2 'notable' people who have eaten there this week include Candace Cameron (DJ from Full House), and Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek).

Uhh, what was my point? Oh yeah. Anyway, on Hell's Kitchen they have this competition where they blindfold them and give them food and they have to guess what it is they're eating. A palate competition, if you will. Anyway, the people did really bad, not even knowing stuff like carrots and pears. So Joleen and I wanted to test Sunny's palate. So we went out to the grocery store and bought a bunch of random stuff to test him on. Sunny was all cocky about it, thinking he'd do all awesome. Well, below I give you the 13 things we gave him. In parentheses after the item I will write what Sunny initially guessed.

1. Acorn squash (cauliflower)
2. Blackberry (raspberry)
3. Watercress (arugula)
4. Turkey bacon (bacon)
5. Yam (yam)
6. Broccoflower (broccoli)
7. Kiwi (star fruit)
8. Garbanzo beans (garbanzo beans)
9. Havarti cheese (harvati cheese)
10. Catfish (salmon)
11. Plantain (parsnip)
12. Pickled bean (pickled bean)
13. Pear Jelly Belly (Pear jelly Belly)

So. He didn't do too well the first time through. He got 5/13 right, and 2 didn't really count. the pickled beans he made himself so I hope he'd know them. And a friggin' pear Jelly Belly? Come on. So then we gave him a second guess for the ones he missed. Upon his second try he got the following right: blackberry, watercress, turkey bacon, kiwi, and plantain. He never got the acorn squash, broccoflower, or catfish. To be fair, the broccoflower was kind of a trick food. Fyi, broccoflower is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It looks like green cauliflower. His first guess was broccoli, second guess was cauliflower. To his credit, when we said, "Ok, now put your two guesses together," he said, "Broccoflower! That's not fair!" So he knew the name wasn't caulibroc, or something else. The turkey bacon was also a little tricky and got another whiney "That's not fair!" from Sunny. And he says our kiwi was a horrid example of a kiwi. Which I have to agree on, because when I tried it I thought it tasted like a grape.

We had to look up how to prepare some of the stuff to eat. We had no idea how to make catfish, plantains, or yams. I was most impressed with his ability to correctly identify havarti cheese. But for a while he was the cheese guy at The French Laundry, so I guess he knows his cheeses. Even though he doesn't like cheese.

So that was that.

On a related cooking show note, you know the show Top Chef? Well, one of Sunny's co-workers used to work with the runner-up of the first season ( who everyone hated). He told me she was just as bad off-camera. Haha. Chef gossip.