It’s hard to put food in a styrofoam box.
It’s hard to watch it die a slow death in the hopes that it makes it to a person in the right amount of time.
I guess we’ll all have to lower our standards. (for now.)
You have to know that this is hard on many levels for many different kinds of people.
I dwell on aesthetic. I think it’s part of my shtick.
I like to touch real things.
Plates. Glasses. Hot water and metal brushes.
I like color. Contrast. Texture. These are things lost in the gravity of my mind.
I know there are ways around this, things I can do really well. But I am rebelling in my mind and it is hard for me to lay down my weapons.
Food, first and foremost, is nourishment. On top of that, are several layers of what makes a dish great. For those passionate cooks out there, putting a $50 dollar piece of meat into a box and into the hands of a person who may not care too much about it is the most nerve wracking — yet here we are. Learning to trust companies that probably don’t give too much of a shit about the quality of a piece of meat, or whether or not a vegetable needs to be eaten immediately.
This is the stuff I stay up late thinking about.
Me, standing on my tip-toes looking over the pass — seeing if you’re enjoying your plate of food.
I feel it in my gut. Things will never be the same. That’s okay. Some things need to change. In fact, I am often hopeful about the future of my kind of work. A different appreciation — a deeper understanding of the world of hospitality and how it is so often the hand that holds our wounds. It is our deepest comfort and gives us some of our best memories.
Those good things will never die.
But, I think they will change. I will change. (you will have to change, too.)
A lot of us just want to collapse on the kitchen floor and slam our palms to the ground like a four year old that’s tired and hungry and doesn’t want anything you have to offer.
Food, to me, has always offered hope. Dignity. Memory. Those are massive columns that hold up my own code of morality. In return, it offers me the same things.
What I am able to give to you comes from my deeper sense of self, and maybe I don’t always show that. Maybe I show it ways of rage and stubbornness — but it all comes out of the place that wants to give you every piece of my soul.
You wonder why speaking in front of guests at one of our wine dinners makes me so nervous — because it is literally three hours of giving you things I dwell deeply on. I cannot separate myself from the craft, the labor and the people that place dishes in front of you and keep your glasses full.
So yeah, this is what I think about in a day.
Everything is shifting. If you’re not, it’s going to be a hard road for you.
I’m going to end this with an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Rumi. I don’t know if it has anything to do with what I just said, but it hits different now.
Now, more than ever, we need to meet in the same place and build a better world.
I hope you’ll meet me there.