Happy Day

IMG_3251It has been a long time now that the winter festivals have and no special meaning to me. I am not Christian, so the celebration of Christ (his birth or other) has no special meaning. Not that Christmas is actually Christian in any way, except through a very modern retelling of pagan myth. I am not a pagan, a farmer or bronze aged peasant, so the solstice has no special meaning either. Continue reading

Ho Ho Ho

I have been working in the F&B industry since I was a teenager. By my reckoning I am now into my 31st year in the business. In that time I believe I have had 5 Christmases off. The first was when I followed my folks and moved from Chicago to Phoenix. I was 21. The next was more than a decade later in 2000, Henry’s first US trip. The third time was while working for Pret in 2001. In 2008 and last year I was between gigs.

People in the hospitality industry (and a few others) are used to working holidays while everyone else enjoys their family occasions. We work all the big holidays. Christmas, New Years, Lunar New Years, Valentines, Easter, Mothers Day, etc, etc,. In fact most of those days the industry is operating above capacity.

This is not a story where you need to queue the violins. I’m not complaining, and we who do this work do it because we want to, we are not enslaved. But, I would ask you, as you have your family dinners, as you enjoy your holiday cheer, raise a toast to the countless people who are working hard thorough it all to keep the world spinning…and tip, generously.

Happy Holidays, your Chef at Large.


A Holiday Poem?

On the two days of Christmas,
My genial guests,
Your hosts drove along New Zealand’s
Upper northwest.

As Henry first noted
And I quickly agreed
This part of New Zealand
Is lovely indeed.

What the guidebooks and travelogues
Appeared to ignore.
We both felt that our holiday
Was much better for.

The coastline can rival
Both GOR and California
And the native bird Weka
Is interesting fauna

We camped out on a river
Free, you should know
You might couldn’t find better
Where ever you go

On Christmas we found
The Maruia Falls
A magnificent epic
Of water down walls.

Now, those who well know us
Can probably tell you
We’re not Christmas people
It just not our milieu

But no matter your stance
On this holiday season
We wish you the best
We have every reason

We know our great fortune
To go to this place
And be here together
In love face to face

We hope you too spend it
With family and friends
And can reminisce
When this season ends

No matter your creed
Your race, or your sex
We wish you good cheer
This year and the next