- Last week American Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said this about Pope Francis and the culture wars: “One gets the impression, or it’s interpreted this way in the media, that he thinks we’re talking too much about abortion, too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman….
(Source: The New York Times)
The first day I met 92-year old Jini Dellaccio she had a camera in her hand, and wanted to not just take my photo but really get to know me. Her warmth and charm captivated me just as it probably did the garage punk rockers (The Sonics, The Wailers) she photographed 50 years ago - when they were…
Lots of red light, and fog make for an interesting night. Definitely a lot of questionable lighting going on at this killer show. I got taken to school. Thanks for the lesson fellas. It was a great time!
Here’s a few from my shoot at The NorVa with Trivium, DevilDriver, Thy Will Be Done, and After The Burial.
Thy Will Be Done
After The Burial
I’m a huge fan of the new PBS series “A Chef’s Life”. After watching one of the latest episodes, it reminded me of a time in my own life as a chef that I hadn’t thought about in decades. After watching that episode, I decided to write a letter to Vivian Howard.
When I watched episode 9 of the show and you were upset about the lack of kitchen help in your small town, it took me back to the early 90’s when I moved from the city to a tiny dot of a town outside of Yosemite National Park in California. This is where I landed my first executive chef job.
The town was / is a small gold rush town that hadn’t changed much since those days. The population was around 1700, with one stop light on Main Street, no movie theater, bowling alley, major store of any kind, and no place to get a decent cup of coffee. You had to drive a bare minimum of 45 minutes to get to anywhere. And “anywhere” didn’t have much either.
So there I was, wide eyed with my first “big job”. This casual fine dining Italian grill was a brand new place, and it was pretty out of place in a town swimming in a small sea of diners and mom and pops. It also didn’t help that the LA transplant owners were a tad too flashy for this sleepy little town. But that’s another story.
So when the time came to go through the applications we had received for kitchen help, I was hit with the reality of where I was, which hadn’t really occurred to me until then.
Out of maybe thirty applications, I managed to find two people that might, with a wing and a prayer, work out. One was Neil. He had worked in a small family owned Italian place back on the East Coast. He knew what al dente meant. He had little sauté experience but he could grill. Because he knew how to cook pasta correctly, he became my sous chef and the grill guy.
The other was Kenny. He had a few years of restaurant experience working in a busy breakfast joint. He could flip eggs really fast, he said. He had no knowledge of any of the items on this menu, which wasn’t reinventing any wheels. And he didn’t know what al dente meant. But he could flip eggs really fast in a busy place, so he became my sauté guy. I crossed my fingers and prayed that he would be able to learn everything else before opening night. After about four attempts to teach him how to properly cook pasta, which landed about ten pounds of it in the trash, we had to ban him from the pasta pot.
So, when you were speaking about what you were going through, and when your eyes welled up, I felt it in the pit of my stomach and was brought back to that tiny gold rush town. That restaurant wasn’t my place, but it was my ass on the line…and even though I didn’t have time to teach people how to cook from the ground up, I had to. There wasn’t a choice. There was nobody else left to hire.
I hope things have gotten better for you in that department. I wish you nothing but the best and hope to eat at Chef & The Farmer in the months to come. I’ve been back on the East Coast since ‘97, in my hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, and I’m still cooking. But for now, I am a chef cleverly disguised as a line cook.
All the best,
I was back at the Belmont House of Smoke in Norfolk, Virginia last Saturday night. A great small venue with some of the most questionable lighting around- especially when (at the band’s request) they turn down the lights even more than they usually are. Great venue, great bands, very questionable lighting.
The Lonely Teardrops will be releasing a 7- inch record in the near future. Surfy/honky tonk/with a little bit of snarl, sure to make you wiggle jiggle all night long.
Raunchstar has just released their self titled CD. I listened to that thing for two days straight, no shit. Best way I can describe them, jangly/fast/fun with a bit of brattiness and some fuck you thrown in for good measure.
One of my very favorite bands. Keep an eye out for them. If they come your way- run, don’t walk, to see them!