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Chef Ari Budnick Memories
August 8, 2019, announcement on MindShifters’ Radio to send Love and Light as Ari has transitioned to the next stage in eternity. The last hour of the show was callers honoring him and what he meant to them. Following are some memories and lessons emailed to me after the show by Avery Ferebee who worked with him in the kitchen at Oak Island. The photo was captured by her sister Johanna, thank you both. Precious Memories.
Lessons from Ari
Three necessities in the kitchen are: chickpea miso, NamaShoyu, and sorghum. Talking about sorghum absolutely tickled him.
The best way to taste chocolate is by inhaling through your mouth because it reaches a certain sensory region combining taste and scent.
The right way to pick out a tomato by scratching the space at the top where the vine connects, checking for a smell that is both “viney and piney.” When he was able to share the subtlety of his senses & pure roots of his, joy he would beam with true joy like a child on Christmas absolutely bursting.
The best way to de-seed a bell pepper is to push the whole stem section in to separate it from the pepper and claw out the stem/seed section out with your hand instead of cutting it out with a knife. That way, you don’t waste any pepper.
Ari adored the opportunity to teach people little cooking tricks. He would look at me with wide eyes and raised eyebrows and dimples waiting for me to react to new information or a new flavor & the moment he would see wonder and curiosity move in my eyes he would look away smiling to himself and jaunt around the kitchen looking for a new fun fact to show me.
We made chocolate cherry truffles with chocolate extract and made the best chocolate fudge sauce I have ever tasted. He let me experiment creatively as much as I wanted throughout the week, incorporating and celebrating my ideas. We made fudge sauce that was super tart fruity and tangy and he looked at me and asked me, “what does it need” with a serious furrowed brow expression. I suggested Tahini, so proud of myself, knowing exactly the flavor he was looking for to balance the pomegranate. He was unabashedly giddy, racing to the blender to pour in tahini with complete trust. He blended with such passion and enthusiasm. He even did a little dance along with the pulses of the blender. It was the most perfect complex dark chocolate tart berry nutty fudge, and everyone wanted to just swim in it.
Ari shared a sweet memory with me one day at Oak Island after an intensive. The sun was setting & he was telling me about God. He told me he felt God’s presence while sitting out on a dock while with a special person in the past. He sat with them silently for an hour, basking in the presence of love & quiet, knowing gratitude. He said it was the truest love he’s ever felt. He said true love is something much deeper and more pure than romantic love. Something magical, holy and pure. He took a moment of silence after telling me this, closing his eyes, remembering that space of pure-hearted, simple gratitude. He then looked back up at me, cherry cheeked, and shrugged.
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