Time off

Tonight was one of those Nebraska spring evenings that bordered on uncertainty, with the thunderheads billowing in the distance, belching their electrostatic rumbles and light show, I thought at any minute these diners on the patio might need to seek refuge from the storm inside an already busy dining room. Thankfully the weather cooperated and left us all alone.

Yet the evening was not without frustration. Quantities of food were not adequate for the demand, which meant the 86 was posted more often than I would like. When using local ingredients, sometimes the supply is limited, like morels, leaving us … more »

The Growing Season

This is the time of year I love most; watching Mother Nature roust her offspring from its slumber. She has awakened the flowering crabs and blossoming pears, the colorful redbuds and yellow forsythia. As I walked home through our neighborhood, it’s as if they have just showered and are sporting a fresh, clean spritz of perfume. The ever reliable hostas are starting to stir, like my teenager poking her head out from the covers to see if its time to get up, or to lay low for a while longer. Our world is waking up again.

I love the season … more »

The Sustained Chef

Years ago I came across a little book called Tyranny of the Urgent. The simple premise implies that most of us give in to urgent demands on our time instead of being driven by more important priorities. In order to be most effective in our work, we need a clear understanding that enables us to distinguish between the two.

Sustainability is the watchword of the day in just about every industry. When it comes to thinking about our energy, transportation, economics and especially food, I believe we are rightly concerned about the ability to keep the supply available for centuries … more »

20

That full moon over the Golden Gate Bridge
While the photograph can’t do it justice
The memory won’t be taken away
I recall the same gasp on that Saturday morning 20 years ago

I’ve lived with the same woman for that many years
Slept by her side
Held her hand as our babies were born
And watch them grow together

In the little house on 53rd
The only home our children know
There are many stories
If only the layers of paint could talk

We’ve walked through darkness and misunderstanding
Suffered through uncertainty
And still hold to what is … more »

Boy, he sure seems grumpy today…

Control

It’s the indispensable need that courses through a chef’s veins.

If the chef seems snarky, it could mean he’s tired, irritable, or just hungover. But if you want my advice to understand what’s going on, my starting point would be that he is feeling a need for control. The job description of a head chef feels like an endless list of prep items, tasks and duties that need to be accomplished, all at the same time, and all them before dinner guests start to arrive in the next ten minutes. When he checked off number 43 on the list, … more »