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The Big Spoon: Cooking Leads to Appreciation 

click to enlarge JESS ELIZARRARAS
  • Jess Elizarraras
It makes sense in retrospect. I fell for someone who knows his way around the kitchen. My partner makes his own pasta. He makes cold brew at home using locally roasted coffee beans. He makes pizza dough, flan and hot wings from scratch. If he’s Ina, I’m Jeffrey and that’s to say, I’m wildly spoiled.

When we started dating a little more than a year and a half ago, we bonded over our mutual love of exploring the dining scene. But that affection has grown tenfold since he let me in on a secret: he’s a great cook.

This makes buying gifts a breeze (he asked for a Dutch oven casserole dish for Christmas), but it also makes shooting photos for work like the ones in our brunch spread, not a chore.

I pitched brunch at home for this issue of the Current because in the last year, though he usually begrudges most mornings, I’ve spent many weekends at home luxuriating with a great Dutch baby, a breakfast item I’d only seen once before on a popular brunch menu. The recipe takes all of 25 minutes to make, and the presentation is as easy as it is awe-inspiring.
  • Jess Elizarraras

All this is to say that watching him cook at home has been eye-opening. I know the work that goes into each dish, and when we meal-plan for the week, we get to decide how elaborate or not we want to be. And that knowledge of the amount of labor that goes into each dish has made dining out even better for us.

We appreciate a scratch-made red sauce (like the one at Outlaw Kitchens), and perfectly rolled French omelets (like the ones at The Maverick), and we can admire the knife skills of pro cooks (like the ones at Clementine).

If you didn’t score tickets to this weekend’s United We Brunch, then challenge yourself to recreate this weeks’ brunch menu (we keep it easy for a reason). Buy the groceries, prep the night before and wake up early to feed your friends. It’ll make you appreciate cooks who work a dinner shift only to roll in bright and early to bake bread, prepare biscuits, whisk waffle batter, poach fresh eggs and bake off several hundred strips of bacon.

Now if only I can find someone to do the dishes…

— Jess Elizarraras,

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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November 17, 2021

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