One of my favorite dishes to cook at home for my wife and me is a caramelized peach tart (scroll down to the last recipe in the "Desserts" section). It's an easy preparation that takes little time in the kitchen, allowing ample time to entertain.
And it reminds me of years gone by.
When I was a young boy growing up in Minnesota, I had a keen sense of the seasons. I could always close my eyes, breathe in the fresh air, and be able to tell you what season it was. Little did I know back then that it would have an impact on my future in the culinary world. Like most kids, my favorite season was the summer, for its long nights, hot days, and the chasing of lightning bugs throughout the park. But the moments that always will stick in my mind are the times that my father drove me to the local fruit and vegetable stand five minutes from our house. I could smell the melons, peaches, and tomatoes the second I stepped out of the car. It's a memory that I recall when I have the chance to cook with any of these amazing summer products, like the peaches in the caramelized tart.
Gavin Kaysen is the executive chef of Cafe Boulud in New York City.