That’s my secret. That’s the specter at the feast, that little devil in the ox-tails. You see, a great chef never reveals all of his secrets. I’ve got scads of them. Many of them, I’ll never tell- proprietary rights etcetera. I’d need a team of lawyers to protect me if some of my recipes got out. Believe me… other chefs have tried to steal them. But, there’s also the freshness factor in my favor. You see, the ingredient has to be fresh. This means that I usually find it in my yard and garden in the morning and start preparing it immediately for dinner. In America’s kitchens, they tend to play it safe. But me? I like to color outside the lines, pack the envelope, push your stool right up to my table and sock it to you, both basters. But, the experts know, you can’t do that by shopping where all the other hack chefs shop (or buy from the same corrupt farmers she buys from). Do you think Julia Childs did that? Oh yes… Rachael Ray or that heifer Paula Deen might. But, NOT THIS MAESTRO! In other words, I like to get my hands dirty and let my hair down (with a hair net of course) when brainstorming a menu and gathering my components. Sometimes I see a prefect specimen, undamaged by the side of the road or in the park… maybe even someplace as unlikely as in front of the metropolitan library. A delicate spray of herbs, a plump viande. They have all kinds of edible flowers walking over there. I just pull over and out and start plucking, gathering, undressing and dressing. A culinary genius’ work is scarcely ever done. It’s sweaty, filthy work chopping ingredients all the live long day! Don’t get me wrong… I scrub my hands and arms with the compulsion of a surgeon before I start handling the sensitive matters. I’m laughing out loud. But, with due modesty I must say, none of those Cooking Network skags can make a Pig in a Poke fit for Princes- and I have (*clears throat* Princes Charles and Albert)! I make the best Pig in a Poke in, dare I say, the civilized world? Yes, I do. And there isn’t a shred of true pork in it. Just like there isn’t a shred of duck in my Duck a L’orange. My secret… my friends… my secret.