It’s All in the Prep

For anyone new to us, Poseidon Cooks! is a lifestyle and a cooking show in development: making delicious recipes,  accompanied by local wines, to be enjoyed with friends and family – and all on a 70 foot power boat cruising the unique and beautiful waters of Southern California.

There’s a lot of prep involved!

First, the boat – the platform on which everything depends.  Poseidon is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to live and cook at sea.  And to share this lifestyle with the people we love.

During the recent Poseidon Cooks! hiatus, preoccupied with personal and family events, we’ve not only neglected the cooking, we’ve neglected this wonderful boat.  But, back en voyage, I’ve been working hard to ensure that when we leave the dock everything will run as smoothly as possible.  Engines will purr. Batteries are charged. Fuel bunkered. Electronics dialed in. No one can predict exactly what happens at sea but at least we know we’re prepared.

Prep, too, is the key to great meals and Linda is passionate not just about the cooking but about the provisioning – all local produce, organic wherever possible – and absolutely no processed ingredients. If you’re going to be away from ‘civilization’ – even for just a few days – you have to look ahead. No running to the store for something you forgot.

That means planning the menus carefully. Particularly as almost everything we cook has to be cataloged, described, discussed and photographed – for the website, the cook book that has been so long in preparation, and for the show. Fortunately, when it comes to provisioning, we can call on our ace-in-the-hole suppliers: Jose the Egg Guy; Albert, the Herb Guy; Michael the Meat Guy; Jorge the Fruit Guy; Cisco the Fish Guy… and we truly miss Volksie, the Tomato and Special Veggies Guy.  He has retreated from our local Farmers’ Market and we rarely see him now.

Then there’s the wine. I’m not just the Boat Maintenance Guy, I’m the Wine Guy – a role for which I’ve trained even longer than I’ve boated. At my right hand, I have Jeff, the Italian and French Wine Guy, who just happens to be my son-in-law. How smart for Sarah to choose someone with a passion for wine and food that matches our own.

By and large (a sailing term, which I only realized  when the Word Guy told me), we buy local and, with the notable exception of Jeff’s choices, I buy our wine from the vineyards between Ventura and Paso Robles. Even within these parameters, we’re spoiled for choice and it’s not hard to cellar a range of excellent wines to pair with Linda’s menus; wines that drink far above their price if they’re treated correctly. And, by the way, one important rule: if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with!

So… boat maintenance, menu planning, wine selection and stowing (to account for any sea conditions) – but don’t forget the CNG for the cooktop, and the propane for the Self Raising Barbecue. Oh and I’m the Knife Sharpener Guy, and the Laundry Guy, too: tablecloths aprons napkins.

It’s all enough to drive an Italian crazy.

But is it worth it?  Take a look at Linda’s recipes, pictures, website and the blog.  Taste the food and watch Linda in her element.  All I can say is that I want to be first in line for the whole experience.