I like Vallejo . . . a lot. One of the things about Vallejo that has inspired me to engage more locally, including the writing of this blog and running for Planning Commission, is the current debate over the fate of the old Sperry Mill site. I believe more than any one topic, The Sperry Mill debate, even with its divisiveness, Continue reading “FRIENDS OF VALLEJO”
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”
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER
My first barbecue was So I Married An Axe Murderer. I was hired to be the personal chef for the movie’s star, Mike Myers. (Rob Fried and/or Cary Woods: Guys, if you are considering a remake of Rudy, I am still game to travel with you. I’ve got this great idea for a trailer setup and can even prepare Keto! Just saying.) Back to it. Not being a fanatic of pop culture, the first thing that came to mind was Michael Myers the goalie mask wearing slasher from the John Carpenter film: Halloween. My first day on set a crew member looked at me and said, “Not Michael Myers, Mike Myers from Wayne’s World”
“OH.” I said, still not convinced.
That was my first barbecue. In the movie industry we Continue reading “SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER”
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT
“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”
MEXICAN? NOT SO MUCH
My mother was a lovely woman and she worked hard to make sure that we had something nutritious to eat every night. In addition to her tuna casserole, mac and cheese, spaghetti and goulash she would often serve us hungry wee-ones Tamale Pie. The recipe for this she found printed on the side of the Albers Corn meal box. Say it is not so? Well, just to prove my point here is the link Continue reading “MEXICAN? NOT SO MUCH”
FRIEND AND PHO
Life is about experiences. Ones we enjoy in the present, then again in the remembering, and yet again in the sharing and the retelling. Years ago I volunteered for an organization called Rebuilding Together (RT), formerly known as Christmas in April. Every now and then we called it Christmas in June, or July or sometimes August. You see RT is an organization that, once a year, helps the elderly and those in need repair their homes so that they are safe and clean. Many times I have gone in to replace entire kitchens and bathrooms. Other times we would just Continue reading “FRIEND AND PHO”
WHAT THE TRUCK?
“Do you have a job yet?” The voice on the other end of the line asked.
The year was 1991, I had recently graduated from the California Culinary Academy and had just, two days prior, returned from a month long driving tour of Europe with my buddy Dale.
“No.” I said, with no apparent alacrity, anticipating the crush of credit card debt that was headed my way.
And so it all began, the call that changed the direction of my life. Within a week’s time I was cooking for none other than Continue reading “WHAT THE TRUCK?”