Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chef Mark Featured on TheStreet.com

Steve Marzolf shadowed me on a day of cooking, and this article at www.TheStreet.com is the result:

Home-Cooked Cuisine, by Steve Marzolf

He's putting in hours at the office, but his galley kitchen uptown has become the set of an intricate ballet performed by personal chef Mark Tafoya.

Braised beef bubbles into a plume of Moroccan spices, and steam sizzles from a deglazed pork pan.

Tafoya has been at work for about an hour and a half, and he's entering what he refers to as "prime time," which means all real estate has evaporated from the oven, stovetop, counter and cutting boards.

Once the smoke clears, a $100 trip to Whole Foods has been transformed into a week of fresh food, all available at the touch of a microwave button.

Cooking at a Clip

Tafoya's day starts with an animated trip to the market at 11 a.m. He bills clients half his hourly rate for shopping, and not a penny's wasted as he shoots his cart through open spaces, grabbing granola or a bunch of carrots as he rolls by.

Attacking the store with a list of items tailored to the shelves' layout, he's exacting about the details, from the quality of ingredients to how they're packed in the insulated bag slung over his shoulder.

"Is your flank steak butterflied or pounded?" he asks the meat clerk before having a pork loin cut to his specifications.

"Some of the checkers know me and pack things the way I want. They're like, 'It's the weirdo chef!'" Tafoya quips.

The cooking itself, carefully choreographed to keep burners free and progress moving, takes two or three hours and ends with seven dishes cooling in microwave-safe containers.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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