Join me for a year at the Black Forge Kitchen.

First, what is The Black Forge Kitchen? Well, it’s my kitchen and by extension it is also my social media presence regarding all things culinary. Why Black Forge? I have a Forge and it is Black. Mastering fire was the greatest single achievement in human development. The mastery of fire elevated early man out of the primordial world. It freed us from fear of the night, it warmed our homes and it transformed our food. In time the simple cooking pit had enough heat to force the earth to surrender the secrets of metal. And the forge was born.

The Forge.

The early metal smiths just replaced the fire pit with a primitive forge as they smelted metal from the base ore. The first forges were also used to cook food but with higher heat than a fire pit and metal cooking vessels. Cooking changed forever. From those first smiths to today, every metal worker has used the forge, smelter or torch to cook food.

When one of my sons developed in interest in blacksmithing as a hobby I refurbished my grandfathers tools, found a forge and secured an apprenticeship for him. After setting the forge up in our back yard it was logical to also use it for cooking. A forge is a great cooking tool. It can maintain low heat for hours on end to support slow roasting or Dutch Oven cooking. It can also bring unimaginable heat for searing and steaming. I also have a griddle, fire bowl and pizza oven on the patio but the forge always attracts the most attention and so Black Forge Kitchen was born.

Why a Year At “The black forge Kitchen”?

I am a Chef. I tend to think of myself as just a cook at times but I am a trained Chef. One of the greatest compliments I ever received was after cooking for a corporate event that did not go exactly to plan. One of the best Chefs in the country threatened me if I ever called myself a cook again. The event had some “hiccups” like they always do but the crew dug in deep and pulled the event off. We went through hell but the clients never had a clue as to the chaos behind the scenes. We were Chefs with a love and respect for the culinary arts and the clients willing pay us for our skills. After how I handled some of the events of that night, I was told to NEVER call myself a cook again.

I love everything about food. How and where it is sourced. How it is cooked. The history of cuisines and cultures. Those who cook it out of necessity or as a profession. And how it is served in the home or in a restaurant. Both front of house and back of house. I have walked out of a restaurant because the disorder and confusion in the front of house told me exactly what was going on in the kitchen. I did not need to see it in order to know it was bad. In short I did not feel safe eating there and I have eaten very questionable food in the far flung corners of the world. And survived to tell the tale.

In July of 2018 my wife and I took some time to road-trip the western U.S. The devastating fires in Northern California derailed our initial plans and detoured us into Central Valley of California. When I road trip, I am on a continual search for great local food. A lonely, family owned dive on a little known road in the middle of know where is a gold mine to me. Sadly this trip was devoid of great dining experiences. Good food was close at hand at very expensive restaurants and the usual franchise chains were easy to find but local fare was wanting.

Our failure to find an establishment worthy of celebrating lead to a discussion. The food was bad, the prices were high, the service was appalling. We were not happy campers, at least not in an epicurean sort of way. My wife mentioned something to the effect of “This makes me want to not eat out for a year!”. To this I said “Why don’t we?.

Why don’t we? Why not give up eating out for a year? Just eat in. Hone my skills as a Chef, track out health and finances and throw it to the digital world for anyone interested to join us along the way.

So that’s is where we are. January 2019. No eating out for one year, with a few small provisions. Unavoidable family, social or business situations. Emergencies. But as far as is possible, only eating my own cooking for a year. As we do this we are also eliminating processed, packaged, frozen foods as much as we can. Greatly limiting or eliminating C.R.A.P. Carbonation, Refined sugars, Additives and Processed foods.

So join my wife and I on this adventure. And I’m sure it will be an adventure. Any journey with me turns into an adventure. You can ride a bicycle naked down Folsom Street with no problems but federal authorities threw me out of San Francisco for rescuing a family of Raccoons from a garbage can. Okay, there might have been some damage to a federal installation during the rescue but It was interesting explaining that to my wife. I love an adventure.

I am a Techno Klutz. This would not be happening without the help and support of my wonderful wife so bear with me as I learn how to properly manage an on-line life. I will soon post links to a website and YouTube channel. I have no plans to monetize this project. I have no sponsors. Any brands or products I discuss or endorse are just my personal opinions. If you like what you see, please like, subscribe, link, share and what ever you do in the Digi world.

Thanks. John


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