Bereaved.

Grief is an odd thing…perhaps the greatest lurker-troll. We can sense it throughout our day, stirring around the delta of consciousness, but not quite palpable. Then it strikes, out of the depths, with full, blunt, force. Perhaps in a momentary reflection on the past…a picture, a smell, or a simple chore. The thought of how our loved one is no more, will never take part in this life again strikes us as if by complete surprise. In the flash of an instant we shift from a normal composure to a sobbing agony of lonely contemplation. Continue reading

¡Viva México!

Not it, but kind of like…

For a lot of (maybe bad) reasons, I (and most others) associate my culinary heritage first with Italy and then second with Melting-Pot America. But the truth is that my first choice is almost entirely wrong. I do have a strong culinary ancestry from that region, my paternal Grandmother, although from Sicily. I also started my career in an Italian restaurant, and made my biggest claim to fame creating another one. However, given that I am second generation American with DNA from equal quarters: Mexican (Paternal Grandfather), Italian (Sicilian, Paternal Grandmother), German (Maternal Grandfather) and  Polish (Maternal Grandmother) my second choice is the most correct ethnically and indeed “spiritually” too. I am an American, and so not easy to pigeonhole, but believe it or not, as close to my heart as Italian food is, there is another equal lover, from south of the border. Continue reading

Mostly Vegan

In March of 2015 I learn of, and then mostly adopted, a change to my eating habits that has been relatively easy (for me) and had a relatively positive impact to my size, weight and blood pressure. I became mostly-vegan. “Mostly” in part because of my job, which does require me to eat meat on occasion. Also because I enjoy meat, believe dietary science urges omnivorous nutrition, and don’t subscribe to the “animals are peaceful” philosophy of many vegans. Indeed I believe if the tables were turned the animals, even my beloved dog (to say nothing of our evil cats), would have no hesitation in making a meal of me.

Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving You Turkey!

IMG_8760Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It speaks directly to the kind of chef I have always wanted and tried to be. It is a purely American, purely secular holiday of conviviality. The sharing of warmth and familiarity with loved ones, around a table piled high with good, rustic, homey, and wholesome food. It is the opportunity to assess the bounty of ones life, ones kith an kin, ones larder, ones fortune…and in so doing appreciate all that there is rather than being mindful of what is missing. Continue reading

Not Safe For Discussion

Yesterday, on Facebook, I noted a “joke” on my Facebook feed from a “friend.” After a brief discussion (I will detail below) the “friend” blocked me from all access. So, unfortunately this story (and any further discussion) will have to rely on my testimony and memory alone. Sine he chose to disassociate completely (that will be difficult in certain trade related events) I also will not bring up any personal info here, this may make for an awkward telling. Continue reading

Goodbye Mother Chik

Last night, shortly after being served dinner by her younger daughter, Henry’s mother stopped breathing. The hospital staff was unable to revive her and so she died, around 8:30PM, she was 83. In life she was a house maid, then after marriage she worked doing garment piece work from home while being a homemaker for her family. She is survived by four good, kind, and productive children, and two budding grandchildren. She won’t be remembered in the press, but her small acts are part of the great human condition, and her memorial will be the expanding works of her progeny. We will all be fortunate enough to have had such a long life, leaving such an excellent legacy in our wake.

No He Didn’t

Speaking of celebrity death, Noma graduate and budding chef Martin Bentzen of Shanghai’s Napa Wine Bar died suddenly at the young age of thirty-two. It has been reported that he died of stress, this is most certainly media hype and not medical fact, and I can’t for the life of me understand how spreading such stories gives comfort to his loved ones, or help to anyone else.  Continue reading

25 Years, 1 Month, 23 Days

Me, in the late eighties, a degenerate, but then still functioning  meth head.

Me, in the late eighties, a degenerate, but then still functioning meth head cook.

Our names meet, separate, and meet again, but the people going by the names do not remain the same. – Salman Rushdie

If you had met me on January 6, 1990, or indeed nearly any time in the few months before that, you would have met a youthful, slim, handsome, but clearly shifty, degenerate, in the early years of a burgeoning full-time occupation (it started as a hobby) as a methamphetamine addict. If you met me in the few weeks after that I would have been the one wearing a prison jumpsuit. Continue reading