Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Food & Wine Department

Yesterday the lead tech here came back to work from being ill so that he could help with the workload and training me. He took me on a little walk to show me where the Food & Wine section of the SF Chronicle is produced. It's behind the main building in its own little space in a three story brick building with a metal staircase inside. Upon entering the second floor from the landing I was greeted with the delicious aroma of something sweet being cooked. That's because off the landing, you walk right into the test kitchen. It's a nice setup with a big island and good counter space all around, plus one of those cool racks that hang above the island and hold all manner of kitchen device. Speaking of which, they had some sort of purification device for food that I'm guessing uses UV light or something. It looked like one of those steam shark things or a big soda water bottle you would spray someone in the face with a la the Three Stooges. But I digress.

We went in and met the editor and some of the other writers and delivered the equipment which was our actual reason for being there. The desks were cluttered with all sorts of tomes on cooking or by cooks (I saw an Anthony Bourdain book) and lots of old newspaper clippings showing previous stories they'd covered. It was an amazing mini-adventure during my work day.

As we left I stopped in the kitchen and asked the two women working there what they were up to and what exactly they do. They informed me that they take chef's recipes and test them then report on them as well as making up their own recipes and preparing them and reporting on that. On this particular day they had just finished making some beautiful almond cookies which were covered in sliced almonds and a bowl of some sort of chocolate substance. They told me to help myself so I actually got to taste an almond cookie! I passed on the chocolate as it was an odd looking not well incorporated clumpy bowl. Maybe there was something else in it but since I had no direction I just opted out and ate the cookie. It was delicious!! Maybe if this IT thing doesn't work out I can score Traci and I jobs as writers at the Chron.

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