When did you get that YOLO tattoo?

I had lost hope.

I didn’t know what it was going to take to keep going. Everything I had worked for and committed myself to had crumbled away. I had nothing to show for 10+ years of effort. Friends of mine were beginning to talk about retirement. Guys my age do that. They are making plans to finish their rat race and move into a season of life where they can begin to enjoy the fruits of their lifelong labor.

That was not going to be the case for me.

Hope was dried up. At my age, I thought I’m … more »

Hope is a Good Thing

Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

I had a math teacher in high school that told me, “Shinn, life is a series of choices. You can choose to do your work or choose to get in trouble. From there, you can choose your punishment. You can write a ten thousand word paper on the manufacturing of sulfuric acid or you can take the swats (yes, they did that back then.) Shinn, you always got choices.”

I was a smart mouth kid in high school and as a consequence, … more »

Identity and Illness

It was my own experience of being defined by my circumstances that has let me to believe that a secure sense of identity is foundational in addressing mental illness. As I understand them, mental conditions are influenced by multiple factors, none of which has an easy solution to overcome them, But I believe there is hope. There always is. This quote by N.T. Wright has reinforced my belief:

Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that a different worldview is possible.  –NT Wright

The pain of life forced on me a limited worldview, one that was hopeless and … more »

Why every conversation with me will include the subject of identity.

I’ve become convinced that a clear understanding of personal identity is critical for well-being. It is this awareness that has helped me beat back depression and stand in a new way of thinking about myself. I will attempt to write it down in a form that will make sense and lead to a similar transformation to those that need this word.

What is identity? I define it as that picture of who I believe I am without even thinking about it. Its a subconscious orientation that governs my actions, whether good or bad. A more simple explanation. If I think … more »

How I Confronted Depression.

Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that a different worldview is possible.  –NT Wright

Anthony Bourdain’s death this week has gotten me thinking about how to help people who suffer from depression and mental illness. I tread lightly because I know its a subject that is misunderstood, but I have decided that I will not let fear prevent me from making my best attempt to make a difference.

Over the years, I’ve been impacted by the suicide of a few I was close to. In addition to the sense of tragic loss of life and friendship, I … more »

Goodbye to a Friend I Never Met

How does a person I’ve never met have such an effect on me due to his passing away?

Last October it was Tom Petty. Yesterday it was Anthony Bourdain.

I loved the work of both of these men. Some of Petty’s songs are indelibly etched into my subconscious brain, I probably mutter them in my sleep. For Bourdain, it was more than that.

At age 40, I began to explore the world of food as I contemplated making a drastic career change into becoming a chef and opening a restaurant. Author Michael Ruhlman became my culinary instructor and through his … more »

A Moment in Time

Its been five months since we’ve closed our doors and it still feels like grieving a death in the family. It was a loss of our daily livelihood, but it was also a loss of community, of friends that we made with employees and guests, of farmers and vendors whom we rarely see now. We pick up and carry on into a new season. And with all turning of seasons, it brings something brand new. Its not certain what that will be, but I have to believe that the best is yet to come.

Someone asked me if we would … more »

Closing December 10, 2017

I am very sad to announce the closing of bread&cup.  Our last service will be brunch this Sunday, December 10, 2017.

It has been more than a labor of love over the last 10 years.  Its been our lifestyle and our identity.  I was reluctant and uncomfortable to be called chef when we first started.   Little did I know how this endeavor would shape my life, may family and countless guests.  These are dividends that are intangible, but ever so real and meaningful.

I often referred to bread&cup as the Little Restaurant That Could.  We were an unknown startup on … more »

What is Supper Club?

Click here to make a reservation.

Supper Club begins today, and many are still uncertain what it is.  Let me explain.

Each week, my team and I will introduce you to a food or flavor about which you might be skeptical. The goal is to expand your understanding and appreciation of something you might otherwise overlook or ignore.  We also hope you’ll discover ideas and techniques that you can use in your cooking.

Why bother?

Why should I try to like a certain food that I know I don’t like?  Where is the sense in trying to learn to like … more »

What to do when the dream becomes a nightmare.

No one sets out to fail. The entrepreneurial dream is always to create a preferable future. The picture of that better future becomes so clearly etched in the mind, it makes the risk seem at times, non-existent.

So what do you do when that dream turns into a nightmare?

It’s the question I began to ask a year ago.

It’s been a year since I wrote anything public. It was the death of an employee that prompted me to voice my grief, and then turn silent. Little did I know that was just the beginning of the most difficult season … more »