My granny always told me to be grateful for small things.
Gilbert made sure nary a birthday would go uncelebrated, from the themed parties of my youth to the simple bouquet of three dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to my job for my 30th. He took me to the finest restaurants and encouraged me to try new foods. The most significant was my 18th birthday at the Water Club. I thought I was so grown having lobster (I pulled a "Flashdance" moment), caviar and champagne (relax, it was the '80s, one glass did the trick). These are vignettes in my life that I will hold on to forever, and Gilbert was the star.
In looking for some images for this piece, I came across some photos of Gilbert teaching teenagers how to cook. The picture says it all. On the prep table sits the mise en place with herbs, greens, lemon, butter and "The Chef's Art: Secrets of Four Star Cooking at Home." To the left of the table stands an eager student waiting for direction, and at the helm is Gilbert in his chef coat holding a pan filled with some savory deliciousness.
I don't remember him telling me about his teaching, but it goes right in line with the man he was. He always had faith in young people and young people moving to their best potential. His legacy lives in me, in my sister, in our god sister, Kim, in my nieces and in all the young people he has influenced.
Thank you, Gilbert. We love you, Gilby, forever and always.
Enjoy, get cooking and thanks for reading!
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Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! SCHOP! is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? E-mail kysha@iSCHOP.com.