Friday, April 26, 2013


Every single post I have ever sat and talked about how much self doubt I have and how scared I am of everything ever.

Every single time that all of you have lifted me up and made me realize that my own stupid fucking insecurity is holding me back.

Every time I have read your comments and cried because it was exactly what I needed to hear. 

THIS is what this all lead up to. I can't say this to the everyday people who need me to be strong and powerful and have my shit together. You all are the people that get to hear the thoughts I can't have in order to be good at what I do.

I am going to be the named, publicized executive chef of the new restaurant. I am 100% in control of the food. Up until now, my general manager wanted to kind of share the role with me and it was all very sketchy. It all came to a head today and I now have my own restaurant. 

You guys, I am doing this. I am living my dream. I will have a restaurant with MY food. MY vision. It will be mine. 

My instinct is to go to terrified and curl up in a ball and cry. 

I am elated. I am over the top happy. I am a little scared, but on a scale of 1 to spider, I am like a 3. 

Opening week? I will probably just post pictures of me rocking back and forth in various corners crying. 

But, right now, this feels right. This feels good. I CAN FUCKING DO THIS. I WILL FUCKING DO THIS. 

You guys...I am about to have my own restaurant. I am 31 years old and I am about to run my own kitchen. I know some people do this at 24, but they are not the norm. 

This is everything. Just. Everything. 

I have a catering business. I am opening a restaurant. I am pretty sure this is what it feels like to make it. This is what it feels like to have finally found your calling and not only loving what you do, but being good at it.

Maybe more like a 5...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fuck. This. (a laptop malfunction delayed post)

I. Ugh. I don't how to address this. I don't know what to say. I am numb and angry and sad and really fucking pissed off. I want to scream the injustice of it all to someone and nobody is fucking listening. I want to change it. I want to fix it. I want to take it all back. I want my friend to hold one of her fucking babies in her arms forever. I want my friend to stop feeling loss and pain and sorrow. I want happiness for her. Not because she is my person. Not because we talk almost every single day. Because she deserves this happiness, this gift. She deserves to have her every dream come true. 

She is my family and our family is devastated again. Nobody deserves this. 

I want to fix this. I want to comfort her. But there is no comfort in this kind of loss.

So....this is happening.

The laptop is back! Kind of...sort of...for now. 

I have some kind of exciting news that I am breaking to pretty much everyone in my life except for the boy and my dad and step mom...I am starting my own business.

I had a really awesome opportunity sort of fall in my lap. I have become the official caterer, or more accurately, private chef for a charity. I have also acquired a private chef gig twice a month cooking for around 8 - 10 people. The profit on these two clients, if you will, could pay my current salary. 

So. I am starting my own company. This may go nowhere. It may be everything. I have no idea. But I want to do it right. So I have started to investigate how to start a small business and what this all means. So far I have figured out it means OMG YOU ARE STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS. I assume at some point panic will subside and logic will set in. If not, I know a lot of accountants. I also actually know my shit here. I am a lot of things, but I was professionally trained to run my own business. It is part of culinary school. 

This feels SO RIGHT. I can't explain it. My dream was always to open my own restaurant, but I could never reconcile cooking the food I wanted to cook, working the hours I would be required to work, and having the life I wanted to live. It never matched until someone literally handed me this opportunity with a big shiny bow.  It feels like everything just started to make sense. 

I am literally knocking on every piece of wood I find and spray painting my cat white. I really want this to work. I can make this work. This is what I was meant to do.

I obviously still have to work. But...a private chef? Cooking your dinner parties so you can just sit back and enjoy it? Working for myself...

I am giddy with excitement. But..but! I need a name. I am toying with the word culinarian...somebody suggested "spice is nice" which I don't hate...I am not catering. I don't want to cater. Anybody have a brilliant business name for a private chef?

Monday, April 15, 2013


I am going to be MIA for awhile. My laptop died and I tried typing a post from my iPad and that just isn't happening. Sorry!! Will try my best to post when I can,

Monday, April 8, 2013

This conversation just happened

Between my next door neighbor and myself.

N: Crazy cat lady just chased me down outside to give me the latest on tranny meth head.
E: We live in a loony bin.
N: Hahaha. Oh, and she was bra-less as usual.
E: Ew! I can't handle the saggy boobs.
N: They were swinging independently because she was rather animated.

I am oh so grateful for awesome neighbors.

10 restaurant tips

I have recently fallen in love with Bitchy Waiter, a blog about the service industry. He wrote an article today for CNN's Eatocracy that got me thinking...

Some people probably don't know how to get good service in a restaurant. Here are my 10 tips to getting great service:

  1. Be happy and upbeat. Nothing makes a server dread going to a table more than when you walk in with a shitty attitude. They know they aren't getting a good tip and they sure as hell aren't going to enjoy waiting on you.
  2. Order off the fucking menu. For the love of God, people. If you are at Applebees, fine. If you are a restaurant that has a chef, those dishes were thought out and created a certain way. And trust me when I tell you that special ordering throws EVERYTHING off on a line and pretty much guarantees bringing that kitchen to a screeching halt. If it is slow, it is one thing. If they are getting their asses kicked, order off the fucking menu.
  3. If you do have special requests or allergies, be extremely clear to the server. Don't lie. If you say you are allergic to red onion, we are going to have a level 9 flip out in the kitchen because EVERYTHING has onion in it. Everything will stop while we make sure to not make you sick. No cook, chef, or server wants to kill someone. Respect us, we respect you. (I am looking at you, gluten allergy)
  4. This is something I am TERRIBLE at: order at the same time. If you have 1/4 glass of wine and your dining companion orders a drink, order one too if you know you are going to drink it. The server has other tables and doesn't want to wait on just you.
  5. Understand that shit happens. And trust me, the kitchen is typically full of a bunch of dumb asses with ADD. We screw up. Don't take it out on your server. They will come back and rip us a new one, no need to do the same to them.
  6. Spend money. Servers calculate tips based on what you order. If everyone gets water and orders the cheapest pasta on the menu and they have another table who ordered two bottles of wine and steak...well, do the math.
  7. Ask questions. Every server would MUCH rather answer your questions about a dish than send food back to the kitchen. We don't make it easy on them, trust me. We want to know why that food came back. If it is because they ordered the chicken dish over cous cous and the customer doesn't like cous cous, that server is going to have a very unpleasant talk with the kitchen. Every server is happy to make recommendations. If they say, "I have never had that, but it smells good," or some variation, get up and leave. If the servers aren't eating the food, you don't want to eat it either.
  8. If there is something wrong with the food, TELL YOUR SERVER. I never do this and just suck it up. The difference is, I still tip the same. Do not take bad food out on the server, they have no control. If you tip well, that server is going to remember you. They will also remember you if you tip poorly.
  9. Respect closing times. If you walk in at 9:45 and the restaurant closes at 10:00, you have pissed off your server and the kitchen, who probably already cleaned everything. Sometimes these people have been there for 12 hours and adding another hour to that is frustrating.
  10. Be nice, respectful, honest. Just don't be an ass hole.
I completely respect that the customer has rights too...I really do. If you have terrible service, the best way to deal with it is to smile and leave an appropriate tip for the service you received. It's never worth getting mad. But, being understanding and laid back is huge. You wouldn't want people coming to your job and yelling at your for every little mistake that you may (or may not) make.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Basic Human Rights

So there is this thing on Facebook with red equal signs and blue crosses. I am sure you all have noticed. 

I am not so good at practicing what I preach. I really truly believe that everyone is entitled to their own political viewpoint and that this country was built on that belief. I don't hate people who disagree with me. I don't just not hate them, I respect them. Everyone gets to believe what they want to believe.

But. Shit. I am a hypocrite. I unfriended someone for their blue cross message today. 

Marriage. There is the church's view of marriage and the legal definition of marriage. They are two totally separate things. 

The church, by separation of church and state, gets to believe whatever they want. I have the choice to subscribe or not subscribe to those beliefs. That is what makes this country great...freedom of religion. Among other things. They can choose to recognize or not recognize unions under their religion.

Marriage itself...that is a legal contract in the eyes of the government. Nothing else. 

If a religion chooses to exclude same sex marriage from their church, that's OK. That is just fine. They have no obligation to include anyone. 

Our government is a different story. They are obligated to accept EVERYONE. It is our government. We have done this already. Women, african americans, EVERYONE. This is what I don't get. I live in the country of the free, the melting pot. Yet we are still discriminating. We are still choosing to exclude people's basic rights.

I am a straight person living, unmarried, with a man. I am not allowed health insurance coverage because we are not married. If he were to end up in the hospital tomorrow, I would have zero say in his medical care. If we had children and he chose to leave me, based on our current situation, I would walk away with my car and our kids. And we have the choice to get married. We are willingly making these choices.

There are people who are not. 

I choose to unfriend people not because they disagree with me on religious beliefs. I choose to unfriend people not because they don't agree with the gay lifestyle, being gay, whatever. I choose to unfriend people because they are supporting legislature that dehumanizes people. They are choosing to not make every man and woman in this country equal citizens, equal human beings. 

We have fought this fight already. Every single human being is equal in the eyes of the law. Their rights are equal. 

This entire post makes me wonder, why are we even having this conversation? Nobody wants to change anyone's religion. They just want to be able to legally care for the people they love. 

And maybe have an extravagant wedding that I totally want to be invited to. But, mostly the other stuff.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Confidence. And doubt. Mostly Confidence. Maybe.

The cockroaches are officially gone. 

The menu is fixed. 

The staff is going to be trained on the new menu in a week.

Construction on the new restaurant has started. 

A friend is coming down to train the servers on how to actually be a server and not be an ass hat.

And I am still not OK with it all. And I think I know why.

The other night, I met my minion out for drinks and to catch up on restaurant gossip. He was promoted to my old position at former job. We now, technically, hold the same title. 

When he started, I had to show him how to cut an onion. I had to show him basic culinary skills. I trained him and mentored him and dubbed him my minion and for all intents and purposes, he has a better job than me. 

I am opening a restaurant in a shit town that I don't fucking care about. Not the restaurant. The town. I am working for someone I have ZERO respect for. 

So, we are sitting and having drinks and a chef from another local restaurant walks up and starts talking to us. The bartender proclaims that he has TWO chefs in the bar. Minion barely corrected him to say we had three. They had their entire conversation with their backs to me and I just gave up and watched March Madness until they were done talking. 

Nobody respected me as a chef. As a colleague. Including someone who I brought up in the industry. Nobody respects what I am doing. Everyone thinks I made a mistake. 

I think I made a mistake.

People come up to me and ask if I think I killed my career. People say some really, really shitty things to me about my career move. 

And I let it get to me. Because I am nothing if nobody wants to eat my food. 

It hurts my feelings to see somebody that I mentored, that I spent a lot of time working with and training and helping now looks down their nose at me. It hurts my feelings that I am no longer someone a local chef wants to shoot the shit with. It really hurts my feelings that neither of them respected me enough to even include me in the conversation. 

I took a HUGE risk when I chose to leave a restaurant that is rated in the top 10 in the city. I turned down the executive chef positions more times than I can count because my instincts told me it wasn't what I was meant to do.

That is really what this is about. My instincts.

My instincts told me to go to culinary school. To leave a lucrative job to make $10/ hr. 

My instincts told me to give the boy my number all those years ago, when I knew he would never ask for it.

My instincts told me to take my last job when I had interviewed for so many and turned them all down.

My instincts told me this house was where I was meant to live.

My instincts told me to quit that job and start working a half an hour away in a small town. 

I have enough contacts to get this at least a little bit on the map. I have the talent to make the food to make people keep coming back. The money is there. There is no reason for this not to be awesome.

In 3 years, I want to look back on all of this doubt and insecurity and disrespect and fucking laugh in the face of the people who think I am irrelevant now. 

I don't know if it will happen. And I know that it will all continue to get to me until it does or doesn't. 

I know I can do this. I do. I just really hope my instincts are right on this one.

And I really wish that everyone around me would have faith in me too. Despite my moments of weakness when I have none. I just really want someone else to be as excited as I am for the possibilities this restaurant could bring.