...As a third generation food lover and chef, food has been my consuming passion as well as the vehicle that enabled me to bring home the bacon. Whether feeding several thousand at a banquet or preparing a Christmas dinner for four, I have always believed that the same God, who created the heavens and the earth, has also given man the ability to cook and create, and in doing so, has placed His thumbprint across the spectrum of cooking techniques and dining in general.
David understood the thumbprint of God when he proclaimed in Psalm 19. â€śThe heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiworkâ€¦â€ť
â€¦I, like David and a multitude of others throughout history, was not surprised to see the reflections of Godâ€™s eternal truth woven throughout all of creation, and in my case, through out the kitchen and craft of cooking. In fact, I am convinced that painted on the canvas of every occupation, task, and job, you can see the reflection of Jesus sprinkled throughout it. No matter what we do or how big, or small it might seem â€“ Jesus is waiting to reveal Himself to us - all we have to do is open our eyes of our hearts and the ears of our understanding and listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit as He points to the reflection of Jesus within our craft.
That is exactly what happened to me will working in the heat of a commercial kitchen. When I took the time to stop and listen â€“ I heard the voice of Jesus. When I decided that this task or that chore could be so much more â€“ I saw the reflection of Jesus appear in my cooking. When I said â€“ â€śLord fill this place with your presenceâ€ť â€“ I began to see the truth of His redeeming love fill every task I undertook. When I stopped long enough to let the voice of God fill all the gaps of my day and become one with me in the day-to-day activities of my work - I saw Him. I saw His hand painted across one end of the restaurant to the other. I saw His truth sprinkled about like seasoning on the finest of dishes. I saw His face gaze back at me from the reflection inside a stockpot of simmering amber broth. I saw Him, and in seeing Him in this way, it has helped me show Him to others.
Would it surprise you to see the gospel proclaimed in a recipe for hollandaise sauce? How about sanctification outlined in the preparation of a simple consommĂ©? What about the concept of building your faith, do you suppose that Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, while stating, â€śI am the Bread of Life,â€ť knew the details of bread production and the effects that gluten would have on a loaf of bread? What about the whole process of dining and fellowship, is there a pattern in scripture between food, dining and spiritual truth? The Bible opens up with the curse invading creation as a direct result of broken fellowship around the table of the Lord. Adam and Eve, consumed by the fleshly concepts of consumption, the pride of life, and the lust of the flesh, traded a table of thanksgiving and fellowship with their creator, for a table of self-centeredness. The net result left them lost, naked, and fallen from the presence of the Lord. It is no wonder then when Jesus came, he proclaimed:â€¦
â€śI am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.â€ť
King James Version, John 6:48-51
â€¦That is the essence of â€śReflections from the Kitchen.â€ť It is a journey into the realm of the culinary arts with our eyes turned upward. It is a look at Christ as well as creation. It is a buffet table full of little morsels - chapters to cause you to ponder upon the richness of all that Christ is, as seen through the sphere of the culinary. My prayer is that as you read this book your soul will ignite with a greater hunger to pursue, take, and eat of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that, no matter what your profession, you would invite the Holy Spirit into your day-to-day tasks and let Jesus reveal himself in every detail of your work. Then you, like Brother Lawrence, can participate in â€śthe Practice of the Presence of God.â€ť If I were to write on all the exciting reflections of Jesus seen in the world of the culinary, it would fill hundreds of volumes, so I have chosen just a few to wet your appetite for the Lord. So dive in and take a bite, enjoy the meal and I pray that the Lord will bless you as you sift through the issues of life as seen through the eyes of a chef.