An amazing thing happened to me on Saturday, January 25, 2014; I had the “life changing” moment that we all somehow reach for.
My husband Don purchased me a gift certificate to cook with Chef Michael Feker from IL MITO in Wauwatosa, WI. What a wonderful gift; a private cooking experience with Chef Feker. The envelope read, “To my chef who will only become a better chef”. It brought tears to my eyes aswell as joy and excitement!
It took me a while to make the arrangements. Chef Feker is very busy with two restaurantsand his television show. Finally the stage was set; Saturday, January 25 at 12:30pm. I was nervous and so excited.
I arrive at IL MITO promptly at 12:30pm. The restaurant had a few lunch patrons and a gentleman at the bar. The bar tender greeted me and poured me a glass of wine while I waited for Chef Feker. The gentleman next to me struck up a conversation about what music was playing. Of course it was Italian, Dean Martin I believed. My hands were sweaty with nervous anticipation.
I had previously met Chef Feker twice, both at home shows in Wauwatosa and Milwaukee. You can read about my first experience in my cookbook which can be purchased at:
Finally, it was time to cook. I was led to the cooking area where Chef Feker was. He greeted me and we began to talk. I told Chef that my husband bought me the gift card so I could cook with him.
I brought him a gift; a signed copy of my cookbook. He accepted it graciously. I told him of the story I wrote about meeting him. He immediately read my story and was very impressed. It seemed that he appreciated the cookbook and even flaunted it to our server/bar tender. We laughed! I made sure to mention to read my daughter’s story about creme brulle. She is such a talented writer and the story is hilarious.
The recipe we were going to make was, “Crab and spinach stuffed South African Panga (fish) atop a creamy artichoke puree”. We began to make a variation of this recipe. It seemed as if we were old friends just hanging out and cooking. We exchanged tips, tricks and new recipes. Chef Feker told me that I could freeze the stuffing mixture and when ready to buy some wonton wrappers and stuff them with the mixture. This is an easy variation of making ravioli. The funny thing about this was I have never purchased wonton wrappers in my life, but I stopped at the grocery store early in the morning on Saturday and guess what I bought for the first time, wonton wrappers. OMG!
Chef talked about collaborating with me on some charity cooking, which thrilled me to say the least. As we talked about what I want to do with cooking going forward in my life, he said, “If it does not scare the hell out of you then you are not reaching far enough”. Life changing moment for me!
I told Chef Feker how both of my children, Ryan and Becky, love to cook and how well they do cook. I mentioned to him that Ryan won a Pick n’ Save cooking contest with his Mac and Cheese recipe. Chef Feker was very interested in why Ryan is not involved in our “art”.
Chef Feker eats gluten free, so I shared with him my gluten free gravy recipe (this can also be found on my website at http://loraskrazykitchen.com/?p=617). He said he was going to steal it…we laughed again.
At one point, I was using this amazing spatula which was heat resistant and so cool. I told Chef Feker, “I have to get one of these”. He proceeded to reach into a drawer, pull out a spatula and hand it to me. He said, “You gave me a gift so here is your gift”. SWEET!
It was time then for me to eat and enjoy what we just prepared. We even made extra for my husband Don which Chef Feker calls the “bearded man”. The food was amazing. Chef Feker liked my added spice. You know I like it spicy, just like my men!
In a blink of an eye, my time was over. He talked about meeting and cooking again, promoting my cookbook and blog and Chef Feker was even interested in my son Ryan working with him on a new project he is putting together. WOW!
My life changed in that moment. I need to reach for what I want, but I am not sure what or where that is. I have been asking God for help. It is like the time I wanted my husband Don to take me to the ballet. He would not, so I thought and prayed. It came to me; be in the ballet and he will come. I joined the Milwaukee ballet and after two years, I was chosen (small non dancing part) to be in the Nut Cracker at the Performing Arts Center at the age of 36. Life changing and I did it!
I feel I am at a cross road. Where do I go from here? What is my path? I asked God to give me a sign and after the week I have had (awful) doing tax, accounting and investment work, I can hear God screaming at me!
This is the quote I wrote and the end of the story about Chef Feker:
God Is Amazing…But You Need to Listen!
The last thing Chef Feker said to me was, I believe, “nothing beats cooking with the ones you love”. He gave me the biggest hug and we said good bye. I hope we meet and cook together again soon.
Please visit Chef Feker’s website and blog!
6913 W North Avenue, Wauwatosa — call us at (414) 443-1414
Great place to meet and eat.
Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff
Please read my review at:
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