Without any break in the schedule, I went from cooking in McGee Creek at Crowley Lake to Healdsburg over the course of a weekend to begin harvest. So, it's time to catch up on one incredible summer on the East Side.
First, I want to thank Elizabeth, Scott and the kids, without Elizabeth's invite to be in McGee (and the leap of faith in me that I can pull it all off), none of this unique experience happens. Elizabeth allowed me to have tremendous freedom in her kitchen, that level of trust is a rare thing indeed, and for that I am grateful. Thank you Elizabeth for the opportunity and your trust in me. To the kids, Owen and Esha (June won't be far behind), who call me "David Scheidt", not Dave or David, but "Dave Scheidt" thanks for making me laugh each time I hear it (cause it is funny). Scott, thanks for being there when I really wanted to use a Star Wars or superhero reference and Elizabeth would have no idea what I was talking about. Joking aside Scott, I appreciate the help at the wine dinners and crunch times during the season; we needed all hands on deck and those extra hands made each night run that much more smoothly.
To the locals at McGee: Walkers, Slaters, and Meadway (plus Floyd and Dre), I appreciate each of you opening your homes, sharing meals, and bonfires; those are some of my best memories of summer. I got to know many people from the communities of Mammoth, Crowley, McGee, Paradise, Mono, June, and Bishop throughout the summer. Many came in week after week for fresh pasta Friday, some slow-cooked goodness on Saturday or the Sunday Sandwich. I, in turn, got to visit those communities and the people in them. To each of you, THANK YOU.
I wanted to share a note attached to a beer given to me by one of the guys I worked with, Kyle. He uses the formal title on the note "Chef" rather than David which is a big deal. It speaks to the thoughtfulness and genuine nature of many of the people that I have come to know on the East Side. "A little taste of home" as he put it to me when he gave me the beer and the note. Thanks Kyle.
Lastly the food. I've put a small collection of photos together of some of the food I cooked this summer. Gluten-free...been there, done that. I crafted a different gluten-free (and vegan in many cases) bowl every single weekend this summer, without a repeat and every one from scratch.
To balance out the number of gluten-free bowls I cooked, I cooked pounds and pounds of pasta. Pasta with red sauce, primavera, tomato cream and alfredo were all featured. But the runaway favorite was arugula pesto. I put arugula pesto on everything from sandwiches to vegetables. The runaway pasta shape, cannelloni, without question.
For every gluten-free bowl I made, I made two bowls of bread pudding. Vanilla, Chocolate, Mixed Berry, and Vanilla-Cinnamon were my regular offerings. People love bread pudding...don't fight it.
Again, thank you to everyone that came to McGee Creek this summer. I had a remarkable experience with wonderful people.