Who’s Making the Chimichangas?

Colin Ambrose's compromised digit Colin Ambrose

     That was a question asked on Colin Ambrose’s Facebook page this week when the chef-owner of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor posted a picture of his hand, dressed in bandages. His right hand that is. The chef wondered aloud how he would cope in the kitchen with only his left hand.

     It turns out that the operation was not a result of a grisly accident on the cutting board, but rather an end product of 20 years of exposing his digits to “hot, cold, and sharp things,” he said. “Chefs always have stories to tell about their hands.” A word to the squeamish: Read no further. The procedure, for which he traveled to a hand specialist at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, was the removal of a cyst that had traveled from his index finger joint, under the skin, to the cuticle where it was threatening to emerge. “It was kind of like a mushroom,” said Mr. Ambrose, who has an easy time with culinary metaphors. He had originally thought he had jammed something into his hand.

            The good news is that he is dealing with the situation well. “I kept waiting for the pain,” he said. But it hasn’t come. His knife work hasn’t suffered, so no worries. You’ll still be able to get his crab tostadas or pork burritos. “Today I was out in the garden getting it ready to plant peas and radishes.” They will be ready for eating the first week of June.