Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Professional French Chef Has Breakfast At Chez Sven!

Daunting, the idea of serving a professional French pastry chef breakfast! Will my homemade granola satisfy him? What about the coffee cake? Will the subtle mixture of flavors – banana and walnut – be satisfying to his sensitive palate? I feel nervous as the couple sits down at the vintage table outside. Of course, the first thing the chef does is cut himself a piece of banana cake. I finish serving coffee and, unable to contain myself one minute longer, ask breathlessly, “So, how’s the coffee cake?” “Tasty,” he says. Always the perfectionist, I search his voice for hidden meaning. Is he just being polite? Did my concoction pass muster? Will he go for seconds? I tell the story of Lorenzo Dow Baker, who first imported green bananas to the USA. While we are discussing how most bananas today are treated with chemicals, lo and behold, the guest takes a second slice of cake. “You must like it!” I exclaim. “Very good!” he pronounces. Hurray! Success.