Early Days in Culinary Exploration

JoeyMatto
4 min readMar 2, 2021
R A W by Charlie Trotter & Roxanne Klein launched my food prep explorations into a deep dive of exploration .

It was 2007 & I had lost my illustrious sales job . What a trip its been . My professional career has always been in restaurants , grocery stores , & varying sales gigs . When the crisis that was 2007–2010 hit , the service sector was hit hard & a lot of people across differing positions found themselves now unemployed . What was I to do now ?

In my spare time , possibly because of my long time relationship with food , at the end of the many long days at work , preparing food was always a way to decompress . Now that I had all of this free time on my hands , I was free to explore , refine & push my abilities further .

I acquired the book R A W by Charlie Trotter & Roxanne Klein a few years prior to this . It had always been an aspiration to achieve to , but as my time was captive to work , it never seemed like there was enough time to really dig into the methods & techniques that this culinary dynamic duo had so diligently produced in the book that is the feature of this article .

Charlie Trotter of the restaurant by the same name , Chicago . Photo Credit NBCLosAngeles.com

I dug in . The book was already at my disposal , it was just there collecting dust on the shelf . I just had to invest the time into opening my mind to the possibilities to the methods & insights in this volume offered me . At this period in my journey , I was granted time for exploration & growth . I jumped in . Head first . I had no idea where it would end up . I made the necessary investments .

Ten Speed Press

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE , ANY ENDEAVOUR ACCEPTED , there will be a process ; that means work , switching from the comfort , to the danger zone .

Archer , of the animated series , always finds himself in the Danger Zone . Anything you do , that breaks the monotony of your comfort zone places you in this space . Photo Credit TeePublic.Com ; FX Networks

Raw food prep is not unlike other types of food prep , but there is a lot of planning & extra steps involved . Primarily because you are creating your product from the ground up . If you want ‘ cheese ’ , it is a three to five day endeavour . It is true that Charlie & Roxanne set the bar high , but I was up for the challenge . In order to manifest the vision into reality , there is investment involved . Tools are not cheap , but if you start a job , do it well .

Don’t cheat yourself by cheaping out . Make the investment ! It stings at first , but payment is in long term dividends ; both in the acquisition of new skills & monetary exchange for making the leap , reaping the reward of development of those skills .

You will not be disappointed with the results that patience & perseverance provide .

Ten Speed Press

After about a month of trial & error , I took this new culinary discipline & prepared food for busy friends who were interested in the raw food movement .

These skills carried me through that brief period of unemployment . I am about to unpack them again as I prepare to open another chapter of this life , another reinvention .

A trio of tacos , heirloom tomato terrine & salad ; Ten Speed Press

This is part one of a series of three .

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JoeyMatto

Mad Scientist , in the Lab . Food Obsessed Enthusiast . Ocassional commentary on culture , film , photography & art .