I need to start off by saying thank you to everyone in the kitchen and front of house for welcoming me into your world for a week.
A few days into my stage Manny asked me if I was having fun, and I answered him in the only way I could truly sum up how I was feeling. I said “This restaurant is like Disneyland for cooks!” It is truly a cooks dream. A beautiful kitchen, a friendly crew, and all of the fun products a cook could ever ask for. The produce is amazing, the offal beyond fresh, and working never felt like work. Chris told me, “We’re all just here to have fun.” I have honestly never had more fun in a kitchen while working so hard. The hours start early and end late, but by the end of the week it all seemed too have gone by too quickly. And what you take with you at the end cannot be learned in any book.
Anyone who considers themselves a chef, or even a cook, needs to experience Incanto first hand. They epitomize what it is to truly cook, to let a product be and not to manipulate it. Just coax it along and help it shine. And any cooks who are thinking about applying for next year’s dinner, DO IT! To not send them your essay would be doing yourself a great injustice.
My time at Incanto was second to none. I have never learned so much in such a short time. And not just recipes and techniques but what it truly is to be a cook. We as cooks have a job, which is prepare food. Pretty obvious there. But what most seem to forget about is that we have a duty to honor the products we are using. Take nothing for granted. I have never seen a kitchen that respects food as much as Incanto. And with zero pretention may I add. When you have pulled mint from the ground essentially you have killed it just as much as when you knock a hog on the head. Now you owe it to that piece of mint and that hog that they were not killed in vain, and that none of it will go to waste. And Incanto was an amazing example of this philosophy.
I honestly had the time of my life and I can’t begin to thank Chef and the rest of the crew enough for the amazing opportunity to work and learn alongside them. I look forward to next year’s head to tail and my next trip to Incanto.