Al Pastor Tacos Featuring Lisa Krych
Lisa Krych – food stylist and chef and I were on one of our daily chats about whatever was bothering us – mostly, the food industry. It usually starts with a text from one to the other about something universally insignificant but huge to our current situation. Lisa and I are both in the same stage of life, burnt out from the kitchen and/or house (industry term for restaurant) and on our own being an entrepreneur. We both knew going out on your own is difficult about 90% of the time. But we live for the 10%, that small sliver of light shining through the dark moments that make everything worth it. The sliver can be a random person on Instagram liking a post to something as awesome as a new client! But everywhere in between the 10% is the shitty 90%. This is where discipline and vulnerability come into play. No one knows the 90% like my friend, Lisa. This past Sunday, she celebrated a GIANT milestone, her 10 year sobriety!
I want to know that 90% that we don’t typically hear about. What makes one struggle through something so HUGE, LONG and HARD? What keeps one going? And how does one celebrate something so grand without alcohol?
So I did what most normal people do, I invited myself to her home for her to cook me my favorite taco dish and tell me all about it… This is the story of Lisa Krych… and Al Pastor Taco!
Lisa has an extensive culinary back ground, starting at age 32, she attended culinary school and went on to be a prep cook at Whole Foods Market, Sous Chef at a catering company, Chef Instructor, Culinary assistant, food styling for television.
While working at the Housewares and Restaurant Show celebrity stage, she found love for the stage and met Rick Bayless and heard about a job working for him as his culinary assistant.
Of course Lisa landed the job and handled all of his demos no matter how big or small. One time she was even on the Home Shopping Network with him. During her time there, was able to travel coast to coast together.
In her words…
The ‘why’ for sobriety: I had a history of abuse with drugs and alcohol working in the restaurants, in the front of house, I had an abundance of it all the time. I knew that if I was to become the person I was destined too, I had to stop drinking.
Hardest challenge during sobriety and what you do to overcome: You might think its staying sober, but for me it’s how to deal with others reactions when I tell them I’m sober. The question I find the most is the ‘why’ that comes out of their mouth. Some days it’s easier to answer but others, it cuts like a kitchen blade. I overcome it by not taking their reaction personally and knowing its not about me, its about the other persons viewpoint.
How will you celebrate?: I am getting a tattoo, I have my sober tattoo I got the day I decided not to drink. Then I got a cherry blossom flower for my one year anniversary. Now I want to get 9 more flowers to represent the 10 years!
How did sobriety shape/mold/change your culinary experience: Wow, it’s a daily challenge. There is still so much drinking that goes with food, its hard to escape. Pairing with food or the fact that it goes in food, or just going out to eat people look at me like an alien when I don’t order wine.
Al Pastor Tacos
Marinade: 1-3.5 oz package achiote annatto / 3 chipotle chiles from a can en adobo / 2T of the adobo canning liquid / 1/4c vegetable oil
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix together until its fully homogenized. Place in bowl, set aside.
1 fresh, ripe pineapple cut into rounds
1# pork loin cut into 1/4″ thick (best to ask the butcher to cut)
On a hot grill, place pork flatly and season with salt. Char both sides. Be careful not to over cook.
Place pineapple on the grill and char both sides. (The pineapple will take a little longer to cook than the pork, its best to put them on first)
The plating: heat up corn tortillas in a hot skillet, this should take about 5 -10 seconds on each side. Place pork on bottom, followed by pineapple chunks, sliced onions and cilantro. Eat immediately.
Follow Lisa on Instagram @lisakrych
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