I have a friend, with whom I walked about ten days of Camino de Santiago in 2013. He's Spanish. He's a chef. He's charismatic, good looking, and absolutely full of life. His name is Raul.
Raul fell in with an Australian woman, with whom I also trekked across Spain. I remember specifically one morning when Kim and I had a farewell dinner with Raul and Sara. He was peeling off the trail to pursue a dream of cooking in far off places. Sara was walking on, with Kim and me. We hugged. We cried. We walked.
Raul is one of those people you keep up with. One way or another. Email. Facebook. Instagram. We've kept in touch.
I look to him for inspiration in cooking. I think he looks to me for inspiration too. I'm certain that my life is better with him in it.
Kim and I made a dinner here at the house tonight. Halibut sautéed in garlic and capers. Potatoes Domino roasted in clarified butter. Homemade spelt flour cake with a little dab of whipped whole cream.
The thing is: Kim and I referenced Raul several times throughout the meal. "Don't you think Raul would love this?" "Can we get Raul here to help us with salad design?" Same things we say every time we get to reminiscing about the Camino and our friends there.
Anyway, we had our cake and we ate it. Soon, we'll get Raul to Nashville. Soon.