Michael and I had some tremendous meals while we were in New York and New Jersey last week. One was in an Italian restaurant called "Tony's" in Wayne, New Jersey where the chef (named Anton Testino) is one of the competitors on this season's television show "Hell's Kitchen." We went there while the show was on the television, but very few people were watching because the food was just so good. I had a risotto with scallops and figs.
There were more meals, all of them memorable, but the most spectacular one was at Cucharamama in Hoboken, New Jersey. I could call the chef, Maricel Presilla, a Renaissance woman, but with her background as a Medieval scholar, it might make more sense to connect her with everything spicy, interesting, creative, and sensual from the the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages.
Maricel is a good friend of Jim and Luanne Koper, our dinner companions, so we got to meet her.
After returning to Charleston I sat down at the piano to play some Beethoven, and all of a sudden I had a Cucharamama-inspired musical idea, thus ending my "sabbatical" from writing music.
Maricel's cookbook will be arriving in tomorrow's mail.