REVIEW: Cooks And Cuffs Will Captivate You, Says Doc Kaalberg
In 1888 Vincent Van Gogh painted quite possibly my favorite work of art. Cafe De Terrace. It was part one in a series of three. Fast forward to 2021, and Chef Keys from Cooks and Cuffs has cooked for me her Cafe De Keys.
This New York born and raised Chef found her way here, to our bustling little metropolitan area, looking to start a new life with her husband. What’s she brought with her is a style of cooking all her own. To call what Chef Keys does in the kitchen is cook, is an insult. If Pavarotti hummed a diddy next to you, would you call it humming or listening to a musical master? In this regard the kitchen is her easel, and the plates she serves are the very art she brings you.
Walking into Chef’s house is feeling of a warm invite, the table is set, the music is inviting and the laughs and conversations are as loud or quite as you make them. Today we laugh, we talk, we share stories, and I learn. The lessons taught you ask? That my expectations are blown away. If you’ve been to Chef’s house then you are in an exclusive club, you’ve peered behind the curtain, you’ve knocked the secret knock, and you’ve danced your night through courses of meals with a melody you’ve never heard. At a speak easy, without the legal ramifications.
Her process is quite unique, but if you trust her method, you’ll find her love of cooking with an entire garden, and fresh spices is her way of sharing a story. She wants you to join her on an adventure that you might never take, while you both find the way.
The dream? A bed and breakfast. To serve food to those who dare to try and trust her genius, and teach our Quad Cities that food doesn’t have to be a chore, but a celebration at the end of a hard worked day. Not covered in gravy or salt, but a new recipe to showcase how amazing fresh foods can be.
“Food is an art to be consumed by the senses, we taste, we feel, we smell, we see, and we fill our souls”
A beautiful quote, she leaves me with after 4 hours on a Wednesday afternoon. The story of an artist. Painting her masterpieces for you to enjoy, love and share. Maybe the sharing is more on Instagram or Facebook, these days. I’m sure Van Gogh would be okay with it.
Your friend in food, waiting to see her Starry night.