CHILLY OR CHILI? BOTH ACTUALLY

I sincerely do not know what to do. You see, I have this problem which, in all honesty, has at least a dozen solutions that I can think of right off the top of my head. But today, for me, it seems to be going much deeper than that. Question: Have you ever had someone tell you, You need to get out of your head and back in to your body? Continue reading “CHILLY OR CHILI? BOTH ACTUALLY”

MY OH MY, MAYA THAI

I remember living with my father after my mother passed away. It was an interesting/tricky time for the both of us. Dad was still hurting from losing his best friend of 40 years and I was starting a new business catering on motion picture sets. Needless to say our schedules were out of sync. When I was working, I was away 14 hours a day. When I was off, well, I was there all the time. For my dad, even after a long vacation, he had not adjusted to being retired and so I became the target of more than a few needling comments. Now please do not get the wrong idea. We were not the Bickersons, not at all. This was the best time for me, getting to know my father. I hope that he would say the same thing about me. I think he would. Although . . . I am sure that I challenged his thinking on more than one occasion. One time I remember in particular. Continue reading “MY OH MY, MAYA THAI”

ON FOOD AND COOKING

Years ago I dated a charming woman who took me home, for Sunday dinner, to meet her parents. Upon hearing that I had been a chef, her mother immediately scrapped the mac and cheese idea and put out her best meal: Turkey, stuffing, gravy, the works, in July. I remember that she sat nervously, watching me as I took in my first few bites. Now I am going to Continue reading “ON FOOD AND COOKING”

SUNDAY DINNER

Sunday dinner was always a thing growing up.  We ate promptly at 5 and there was always roast chicken or beef for dinner, with mashed potatoes and gravy of course.  During the week we would dine on the mainstays like spaghetti or goulash, and of course tuna casserole. But it was on Sunday that mom did some cooking. You have read here that my mother was a lovely woman who could burn water. This is Continue reading “SUNDAY DINNER”

I AM A SOUL MAN

This next sentence may not be exactly true but here it is. I first remember hearing the song Soul Man while watching the movie The Blues Brothers. Like I said, that may not be exactly true because I knew the words and sang along with everyone else in the theater. Feeling uneasy about my memory, as I am want to do these days, Continue reading “I AM A SOUL MAN”

THE BIG NIGHT

There are two best days in any restaurant owner’s life. The day they open and the day they close. I have experienced both. It had always been a dream of mine, since I was a very young man, to own a restaurant. Even my mother and father supported the idea and offered to work for me. Either, or the both, of them would have made excellent hosts. My restaurant was in Emeryville, in the shopping center where Trader Joe’s is located. I took over an old Hobbee’s and made it into a sweet little place. Actually Continue reading “THE BIG NIGHT”

PATRIOT OR LOYALIST?

Perhaps the first lesson of etiquette that I learned as a young man, after put the napkin on my lap, or don’t cry over spilt milk was the proper use of the fork. I remember my mother, whom I sat directly across for the dinner table. Demonstrate the proper way to cut my meat. Fork in left hand, knife in right, pierce the meat with the fork and cut off a small bite with the knife. Then set the knife down, transfer the fork to your right hand and take a bit. Rinse well and repeat. (She did not say the last, it just seemed to fit in my head.)

 

Being the curious young toddler that I was I asked the inevitable: Why? Continue reading “PATRIOT OR LOYALIST?”

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT

“I’m hungry.”

“Yeah, me too.”

 

This seemingly innocuous phrase is repeated in some form or another in most every household one could think of, including mine. The difference in this case is that we are both food industry professionals who have spent long hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking food for an eight hour shift. So what does that mean? Well, it’s kind of crazy. Let me back up and start with an old saying about chefs and restaurants.

 

Never trust a skinny chef. Continue reading “TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT”

NOTHING MATTERS, EVERYTHING MATTERS

The first job I got, while attending culinary school, was for the Bank of California as a cook for their Executive Dining Room. The Chef, Bob, ran the kitchen for the employee commissary and the dining room. He was a nice enough fellow and tolerated the newness of my techniques. You see, I had just started my studies and the needle on my skill meter had Continue reading “NOTHING MATTERS, EVERYTHING MATTERS”

THE FRONT ROOM

When I was ten or eleven, my parents took my little sister and me to the Front Room for dinner. Our front room. The family, in our house, in the East Bay front room. We, my little sister and I, were told to go upstairs, clean up and put on the nice clothes that my mother had laid out for us. Then we were told to come downstairs at exactly 5:30 for “Fancy Dinner.” Wow, fancy dinner? I really did not know Continue reading “THE FRONT ROOM”