As a new feature, I will occasionally post photos from my pre-blog days that may be of some interest.
This photo is of part of what was the most wonderful dish of the most wonderful restaurant experience of my life to date – my first visit to elBulli on August 28th, 2005. The dish, Caracoles con necoras en escabeche y amaranto al hinojo or "Snails with crab in escabeche sauce and amaranth with fennel", brought back a taste memory of my all-time favorite dish – my mother's blue crab tomato sauce, which she used to make for me on my birthday when I was a child. It completely captured the essence of the flavor of my mother's dish. The rest of the meal could have been terrible (it was most wonderful – for a more complete look at the meal, please see my eGullet report) and this one dish would still have made the evening a great success for me.
The yin and yang of life is such that while I was enjoying the most sublime of meals, unbeknownst to me, the City of New Orleans was about to be hit with the worst disaster of its history – Hurricane Katrina. That such a wonderful memory should have been built at the same time that others experienced such profound tragedy is one of life's oddities. The effects of Katrina remain important certainly to the city of New Orleans, but also to me and my family personally as one of my sons will be attending Tulane University there starting later this summer. He and my wife are currently there for orientation. Little did I know then, how we would later connect to that amazing and resilient city.
*The above photo was first posted in the eGullet report linked to in the text.