Do You Have Any Cooking Superstitions?
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Black cats, the evil eye, knocking on wood -- most superstitions have been around for centuries and many of us continue to believe in them. But what about Valley chefs and restaurateurs? Do they have any superstitions or kitchen rituals they believe will effect the outcome of their food? I asked a few, and here's what they had to say:
A full moon. We always check to see when the moon is full each month and then staff and order accordingly. For some reason, a full moon usually affects our business for the better and it brings in a different crowd. Our restaurant can get a little weird. If you've ever watched a show on TV, like ER, they sometimes do "full moon" episodes featuring crazy people. That's our restaurant during a full moon! Our customers aren't crazy, but they're definitely "spicier" than usual. And there's always that one wild card who shows up to shake things up even more.
I always do things in odd numbers: three falafel, the pasta is five ounces, and so forth. I inherited this from Anne Rosenzweig -- she was in tune with Japanese tradition.
To overcome "the first crêpe goes to the dogs" jinx, I go through a pre-spinning ritual. Before the ladles and spatulas are touched, I give my crêpe makers a love tap with my rabot, and then spin it in this sequence, clockwise, counterclockwise, and clockwise again.
Never ever give anybody a knife as a gift. It's bad luck. Tape a penny to it for good luck. It's a bad omen to give anyone a knife.