Dear Tobias (yes, THAT Tobias),

Thank you for letting me into your kitchen yesterday, and thank you for imparting your wisdom, and sharing with me the meaning of life: butter. Lots, and lots of butter. I have decided to forgo my worldly possessions in order to move into your kitchen and live out the rest of my days beside the sous-vide thingy (never in my life have I wanted to snuggle with an omelet until you made one using a floating, plastic bag).

I spent my birthday learning to cook the pretty side first, learning that a handful of salt smoking in a cast-iron pan is magic, and learning how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker (although that last one was probably a really bad thing for me to learn). I learned that truffles come in a can (and cost a lot), saffron comes in a tin (and costs a hell of a lot), and vanilla beans should be refrigerated. I learned how to beat an insubordinate sous chef with the butt-end of a 7″ Shun knife and not cut myself in the process. All very valuable lessons!

I also learned the secret of the sablefish, and I thought to myself, “well that was easy. What the hell was God going on about? Maybe he should just fork over the cash and take a class with Tobias. Pffft… who knew that the Heavenly Wiener Father was so cheap?”

So anyway, to The Cheerleader I Live With, and to The Tobias, I say thank you. Thank you for letting me have such a magical, informative birthday. That was truly f*cking awesome, dudes.

And to the rest of you…. just go. GO!