I always get excited when I meet new people, and working on the poker circuit means that you get to meet your fair share. During this year’s World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) in Cannes, France I met a guy called John Boncek. John was working with Pokernews as their cameraman and he joined me and several other friends as we dined in a very poor French Tapas restaurant during our first night in town.
John and I worked together for a fortnight in one of the most beautiful and luxurious settings in the world, and yet when I think back to Cannes it is John who dominates my thoughts. Not only was he an exceptionally talented cameraman who just had a knack of getting the right shot – every shot, but he is also the hardest working cameraman in the poker business. John just got his head down and worked his proverbial’s off for the entire week producing quality photo after quality photo and I admired that about him.
When we were not talking about poker I found that he had a passion for food and healthy living. He showed me his personal website called the Ice Box Gardner and not only did I love the name but I got carried away with the sites verve and passion. In the weeks that passed I read the Ice Box Gardner and re-developed my passion for food. In my 2012, goals I have set myself some health and fitness goals and they have all been inspired from the first meeting with John Boncek.
I asked John for one book that he would recommend so I could redevelop my own enthusiasm for cooking and he told me to buy In The Green Kitchen – Techniques to Learn by Heart by Alice Waters and it became book number 3 of 52 as I continue to read one book a week for a whole year.
The idea for In The Green Kitchen was borne out of an event called The Slow Food Nation that was held in San Francisco. The gathering attracted thousands of food enthusiasts and connoisseurs and Alice Waters was one of the organisers of the event. Alice and her team decided to hold a demonstration kitchen to teach people about the basics of cooking and The Green Kitchen was born.
The basics of cooking are an excellent way to describe this book and I understood quickly why John Boncek had recommended it to me. It teaches you how to dress salads, cook eggs, create simple sauces, bake bread, cook rice, cook pasta…well you get the picture. The book is also boiling full of excellent recipes and I have spent the past few weeks going through each one meal by meal. I have decided that I am going to cook every single recipe in the book and so far I have really enjoyed hunting down the ingredients, cooking the food and sharing the results with my family.
Eating healthily is extremely important if you want to have the stamina to excel. I have found that by immersing yourself into food by buying, cooking and then eating your own little experiments you are more likely to stick to a great diet. I recommend that you have a look at both In The Green Kitchen and also John Boncek’s fabulous website: The Ice Box Gardner – what a cool name!
Photos courtesy of John Boncek with the exception of the last one which is my attempt at making Cherry Tofu Salad