I just spent two weeks cooking real food 14 hours a day for 40 acrobats.
You may ask: What do you mean by real food? Or perhaps Who are these acrobats?
The answers are: 1) Food from scratch, with locally sourced produce, dairy, and meat, and nary a processed ingredient in the pantry (thus the long hours); and 2) The participants and teachers of the Acro Revolution Teacher Training in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The four-person kitchen crew had only met by Facebook prior to our arrival. I came in wondering about a number of variables, including how we would all get along and how my overseeing the vegetarian and vegan offerings would work with the meat dishes.
I didn’t have to worry. Helmed by Chef Josh (second from right), the group gelled quicker than the cream atop our unhomogenized local milk.
We developed a flow, and laughed hysterically at the in-jokes that popped up along the way. Oh, we sure did.
But back to the teachers. To even be considered for the training, the participants had to show mastery of a number of moves, like a reverse star and a specific type of washing machine. Whether the acro-yogi tended to act as a flyer (the person atop another’s feet or hands) or a base (the support), the activity requires tremendous skill, strength, and practice.
Is it any wonder that they call themselves monkeys, or that they needed enough food to feed an army of gorillas?
The teachers-in-training were generous with instructing me on the topsy turvy art, and giving rejuvenating Thai massage, muscle manipulation, and acropeutics. At the moment, though, I’m still better acclimated to wielding my Global 8-inch chef’s knife than flying or being flown.
The lunch and dinner menu generally appeared handwritten by Chef Josh on a flip chart. The “H2O” line refers to the infused water flavor of the day. “Irasshaimase!!!” refers to one of the words that kept us amused in the kitchen.
Two weeks of intense cooking isn’t for everyone. But the kitchen crew stayed enthusiastic throughout. I think we would all do it again.
As you may guess, we’ve had a few requests for recipes. Coming soon.