"How do you do?" she said in her impeccable English accent.
"Gurgle herm um...hi, hi hello," I managed, unwittingly triggering memories of her life in the wild with chimps, I'm sure.
So here I am cooking a five course vegan meal for Jane Goodall, a celebrity who more than any other drunk-in-public, panty-flashing, dead beat heiress, deserves her fame. She had just arrived from San Jose, another stop in her 300+ day tour to promote "Roots and Shoots" program.
The week before I got a phone call. "How would you like to cook for Jane Goodall? Your name has been mentioned and if your schedue permits..."
"I'd love to," I said. And that was it.
Of course, you always hear about someone's interaction with a celebrity and how they were just like any other person, every bit as quirky. That was exactly how it was with the doctor...only she had spent more than 10 years of cumulated time living in the wild with chimpanzees. She had a very strong matronly air about her. A wisdom accrued from her decades of more "civilized" interaction.
Rightfully so, Dr. Goodall is vegan, making the planning of a five course meal a little more tricky but in the end, super fun.
Jane Goodall's dinner:
-Roasted Cauliflower Veloute with Achiote Garlic Confit and Caramelized Florets of Cauliflower
-Salad of Cumin Fried Potatoes, Roasted Capsicum, Nicoise Olives, Fresh Basil and Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette
-Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushroom Cap with Wild Mushroom Carnaroli Rice and Parsley Puree
-Fresh Papaya with Coconut-Rose Sorbet and papaya seeds
-Warm Lavender infused Soy Milk
This experience, with no surprise, was one of the most flattering opportunities I've had and it was a tremendous honor to cook for such an overwhelming figure. And I managed to make it through the entire evening without askeing her if she knew any famous chimps like "Bubbles."
Hey, no monkey business. (enter nerd laugh effect here)