Aim High, Trojans.

{Photo of dad}

I don’t have many photos of my dad, so the ones I do have are really quite special, like this one of him during his army days, stationed in Alaska, showing off the catch of the day. This is the part of the man I didn’t get to know. I often wondered what it would be like to see him as a young man.

My thoughts of dad on Father’s Day went back to my first realization of getting news that he died, that he would never get to see my restaurant, and I would never get … more »

What, did you steal that pan from a hotel?

One of my kitchen staff came outside on the patio where I was hanging a sign.

“The fire alarm just went off”

“Fine, I’ll be there in a minute.” I responded.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed this look of consternation on the faces of two women who were having coffee and were within earshot of the exchange. The expression of worry didn’t make sense until I realize what they heard. They took it literally.

Kitchens are notorious for having a language of their own. We refer to some of the tools of the trade as a … more »

More than just tying on the feedbag…

I spend a lot of time thinking through why I cook. It’s a common question thoughtful chefs ask. It’s important for us to understand the motive for why we spend such long hours in a profession that has an inordinate demand for inequitable compensation.

But there is also, I believe, reason for why people come to eat the food we enjoy preparing. And I would pose the question here; do you know why you eat?

Once you get past the “duh…because I’m hungry?!?” response, I invite you to go a little further. Sure we eat because our stomachs tell us … more »

Order in

I knew this night would come. I just didn’t think it would take 22 months for it to happen.

Take an ambitious menu, combine it with a houseful of people, add in a lack of rhythm between the front of the house and the back, and you end up with that feeling in your gut that the night is not going to go as planned. We had never been this inundated. The perfect storm erupted.

I think what I hate about moments like this is that I never get another chance to make that first impression. New guests. Visitors from … more »

72 and sunny.

About a month or so ago, I began to sense some significant heart palpitations. I’ve had them before, which is why I knew what they were, but never to this degree. Ten years ago I probably would have just pushed on through without much thought. But this time at my age, it brought me some concern.

My first response was to call my sister, who is a registered nurse and who’s opinion on medical issues I highly respect. I explained my symptoms to her on the phone, and after a brief query, she reached her conclusion. Delivered in a way … more »