Gratitude: One Year Later

It was a year ago that the presence of a silently growing mass called cancer was revealed to us by Karen’s OB in the sterile little hospital room in which she lie in recovery. This was the same man who presided over the birth of our two children 18 and 15 years prior and introduced us to the little boy and little girl that grew inside the same space that now housed the tumor. Life and death are ironically and intimately connected.

But now a year later, I sit at home writing about these memories as Karen is inside, getting … more »

Why eating for pleasure is your best hedge against gluttony.

Words have a subtle way of changing their meaning, especially as the speed of our culture continues to exceed any sort of presumed speed limit. The instantaneous communication devices that we hold in our hand or have sitting on our lap make us immediately familiar with thoughts, phrases and ideas from sources far and wide, be it a company, celebrity or completely obscure individual that gets noticed by millions of people for something quirky or embarrassing that got caught on video.

Case in point; I remember a few years ago seeing the film, Napoleon Dynamite, thinking somebody should make a … more »

The Culture Code

I’ve decided that trying to reduce 30 years of a man’s work into four paragraphs is like trying to convey anything of importance via Twitter. Rashard Mendenhall found out recently that 140 characters are just enough to get him misunderstood.

Let me highly recommend the latest book I just finished, titled The Culture Code, particularly if you are the nurturer of a dream or idea that you are hoping will someday become a physical reality. I resounded with it on many levels, but at its most important, I take away the thought that dreams are what our country was more »

It’s our own fault

I wrote in my last post about our American food culture and how we tend to relate to food as a source of fuel rather than a source of pleasure and enjoyment. The vast majority of Americans think of eating as a means of filling the tank in order to move on to the next activity. Speed and efficiency overtake any concern for means and substance. Degree of quantity supersedes any measure of quality. We like our food big, and we want it right now.

Framing it this way helps me take inventory of comments I receive via email, or … more »

Go ahead and say it

I tell my wife that male humor never progresses or matures past the junior high level. The easiest way to prove this is to make a batch of sausage.

I make sausage from scratch every week, sometimes twice, and without fail, every time, some guy on my staff makes some kind of phallic comment. Since it’s impossible to escape, and yes, I can admit that the hog casing does resemble a 25 foot condom, go ahead and say and get it out of your system.

Last night we made pork kielbasa with winter onion that I retrieved from the Farmers more »

Going off code

A customer of mine loaned me a fascinating book that has answered several of my questions as it pertains to understanding customer behavior. The Culture Code (Clotaire Rapaille) is an explanation of why people around the world live and buy as they do. The author shows why we think the way we do about beauty, health, money, work, and especially my interest, food. If you are a marketer of goods, I recommend this one highly.

What makes this book of value is the simplicity of his thesis. He seeks to summarize behavior, regardless of culture, into a one-word code, that … more »

Defining Your Success

I know of no chef who does not want to be successful. No right minded person goes into the kitchen to deliberately put out bad food and intentionally sink the ship. We all want the house full, every night. We want to hear rave reviews about our craft and creations. We want to see more money coming in than going out. But is this the only way to define success?

This topic of success is fresh on my mind this Monday morning, coming off our biggest weekend in our short 3 ½ year history. We made more in sales last … more »