Friday, April 23, 2010

Introducing the Veronica Diaries

An introduction, I am told, is necessary to begin this journey.  Instead of being some kind of corporeal being that is without name or body I am allowed to bring myself into the light: My name is Veronica, age not specified, along with my weight and ethnic background (we need more time to get to know each other before I can get into those kinds of details).  A California girl who has transplanted herself here and now lives, works, breathes DC. 

I am not a writer by trade; I am someone who enjoys, like many, food, wine, and the camaraderie that can be found around the table.  I am also no food expert, and will never try to make myself out to be one, but like you I am someone who wants to learn and is fascinated how something so simple can be made into something that tastes so good.  This blog is about my experience at Equinox and my journey with the people who make Equinox what it is.  The “Veronica Diaries”, as Ellen Gray simply put it.  I hope you enjoy. 


What do words like organic and locavore mean?  In the past one might imagine hippies with long hair who sustain themselves on granola and tofu.  Yet, what these buzz words truly mean are a return to where we came from: the earth, nature, and all that it provides.  Before it was a cool Equinox was on the front line of this movement.   Supporting local farmers, butchers, cheese makers, etc.  Cooking seasonally, respecting what nature provided in that moment in time, and presenting quality ingredients with a simplistic beauty that is pure and true to the ingredients.  Chef Todd Gray lets the food speak for itself.  Here there are no smoke and mirrors with deconstructed carrots made into foam.  On his plate a radish is a radish and that is enough.

As I sit in the Gray’s kitchen I find myself surrounded by laughter and joy, and no that is not just the wine working it’s magic.  The people that have chosen to be here are believers in the mission of Equinox and it shows in their camaraderie.  Every person is integral and I see not just a chef but a man who readily practices what he preaches. Someone who is just as concerned on the merits of a perfectly cooked carrot versus a radish as he tries to convey a story, and today that story is Spring.

I was invited to come over to the Gray’s house to watch as menu items were tested and plated for a photo session.  It was amazing to watch the attention to detail and to just talk and pester these people who have followed their passion to create what can only be called edible art.  I mean look….

Equinox has met some difficulties.  A fire ravaged the location and forced the restaurant to close it’s doors and now after months of fixing the devastation the Gray’s now face a trail of paperwork and permit applications that keep the re-opening to be determined.  But where there are difficulties there are still things to be done.  Catering, setting up edible garden, farmers markets, etc.  Just because the doors are currently closed at Equinox does not mean that the metaphorical stove has been turned off.  

So stay tuned as we continue this journey together.

1 comment:

  1. Out of disaster comes growth...and OH MY what a delicious invitation to return to an old favorite. The Veronica Diaries vignettes, reflections and humor are as enticing as the food art on which she muses so effortlessly. I'll be back asap to the restaurant as well as the blog...Undoubtedly, once others catch on, you must consider adding "Meet Veronica Nights" to the menu!