Painting with Food
What is art? An abstract concept to be explored in many forms? A feast for all five senses? An opportunity to relinquish the cares of the world and focus on self, sensation and appetite? To a chef, the answer is always yes.
Why A Chef?
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart. —Cesar Chavez
My name is David Erickson, and I create food. It’s not something I undertake lightly; the things we eat have a lot of significance in our daily lives. The fragrance of a peach, the sizzle of an onion basting in fat, the succulence of a perfect steamed shrimp, these simple ingredients can return us to a farm in Georgia, a grandmother’s kitchen, a restaurant in Chinatown. Food is evocative.
My goal is to create food that evokes a walk in a private garden, a stroll on a boardwalk, a celebration with family and friends. My journey to cooking has taken me to gourmet schools and local farmers’ markets. Every basket of peas begins a new journey, each glistening salmon fillet a new adventure. And it’s my pleasure to offer my gift of adventure to you.
Some people are driven to create art. I am driven to create exquisite food.
What Drives Me
My Priority: Fresh Ingredients
If you go to a farmer’s market around seven o’clock in the morning, you’ll find a bustling group of able hands; moving cartons, setting up tables and tent tops, arranging and displaying that day’s selection of just-picked produce. There may be a fish vendor or a meat purveyor, a cheesemonger and a plant seller, and a number of prepared foods booths stirring pots and prepping fires for the day ahead.
The first wave of customers often wear white jackets and pull wheeled carts; soon they are filled with Chioggia beets, red leaf lettuces, Murcott tangerines and Gaviota strawberries. The kitchen crews, for these are the customers first thing, chat amiably with the farm workers, tasting, testing, to bring the very best back to their employers.
Few things bring me as much joy as wandering an open-air street market, selecting a stubby bunch of Nantes carrots, thick as your thumb, long and sweet, measuring finely pointed Haricots verts or verdant snap peas into my sack, wondering what impulse may send these vibrant vegetables crashing into well-chosen spices and herbs, to be transformed into a dish worthy of my knife.
Cheesecake with raspberry-gastrique and fresh berries.
Wild Coho salmon mousse stuffed puff-pastry cups with smoked Atlantic salmon, dill and salmon roe.
Pistachio-crusted chicken breast with saffron risotto and roasted asparagus.
Roasted butternut squash crusted with dukkah and labneh.
Mixed green salad with sprouted legumes and balsamic reduction dressing.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches on multigrain bread.
What People are Saying
“The best host”
“Chef David came over to cook an incredible meal for our anniversary in a bungalow we were renting in Venice. He worked with me from our first phone call until the day of the meal to ensure that the menu, and budget, were in line with my expectations. He exceeded on all fronts! The food was delicious and the presentation immaculate. In addition, Chef David left the kitchen absolutely spotless. We couldn’t have asked for a better ‘host’, give him an A+ rating, and would recommend him to anyone looking for a special dinner.”
All of us at the lovely dinner you created for our party on April 28th, agreed that it was quite quite wonderful. Great job!
“The dinner was amazing”
“I want to thank you for making Ken’s birthday so very special. The dinner was amazing. I kept saying “yum” with every bite. You probably heard me. Not only did you design a delicious menu, but the presentation was lovely. I especially enjoyed the attention to small details that you and your assistant incorporated. And the best part is when you left our house, the kitchen was spotless, and I never would have guessed there had been a party that night.”
—Marion and Ken Scholtz
“An evening of culinary delights”
“We had David Erickson cater the 40th birthday party for my daughter, which included twenty family members. David worked very closely with Gene and I in the selection and planning of the menu. With David’s knowledge and training, we came up with a fabulous menu that wowed everyone from the youngsters to seniors. He worked very hard prior and during the event, making sure each dish was perfect. His interaction with our guests really made it a fun evening of culinary delights.”
—Gene and Mary Shap
News & Events
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