Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fearing Fear.....

My grandfather was Marine Surveyor of the Hawaiian Islands back in the day. He was a Master for Matson Lines and made his money skippering fuel tankers in the South Pacific in WWII. One of his favorite, deeply sarcastic, sayings was:

"When in danger.....or in in circles....scream and shout!"

Come on, people.

In the midst of all the gloom/doom and chaos, I finally went to the Post Office.....for the first time in a month.

There were some checks.....and a key to a package locker.

My friend Brian Buck......a Cornell Chi Phi and fellow English motorcycle idiot....sent us a vaguely December related gift.

"One Day at El Bulli"

About four pounds of an in-depth reportage of 24 hours at the world's greatest restaurant.

El Bulli personifies most of what we revere in cuisine and kitchen ethics.

Technical. Creative. Insanely task-oriented. Gorgeous. Inspiring.

One of our guys, Txema, is an honored veteran.....still the chef of an Adria sister restaurant, where he proudly wears his Cachagua Store chef coat each night. Each year 5000 young chefs apply for the job of stagier (working for free for six months). Adria accepts 25. Txema can go back whenever he likes....

Each year two million people apply for the 8,000 available place settings Ferand makes available.

Bulli serves 50 people a night....with 40 chefs and two dozen dining room staff.

We try to carry forward these kind of ideals....with six guys in the kitchen and four cowgirls in front...and serve 100 people.

It is like that Star Trek episode where they land on the planet where everyone dresses as cowboys.....because they found an old Gunsmoke tape and thought it was God.

Hey.....we try. We have our eyes on the prize....


The book had been sitting there for a month.....all through our nightmarish Christmas season.

Today I retrieved it. Tonight Brendan and I sat down and started flipping through the pages.

"Awww, shit! I remember that one. We should do that again"

"Shit...the motherfucker stole our idea! Adria has been reading our mail!"

"Wow......look at that. Simple. Elegant. Would anyone in Cachagua notice?"

"Dude.....who cares? We do this for US, right!"

Oh. Right.

Brian definitely stirred up the ashes.....and just in time. Watching Brendan flip through the pages of the Adria book was like watching The Terminator slowly rise again from underneath the compactor at the end of the flick.

Where there is Hope....there is Life.

While supposedly every business person in America.....and definitely everyone in the food looking for a sharp knife and a place to fall......I got fired up and bought an anti-griddle for a thousand bucks. And a SuperBag.

An anti-griddle is a one-foot square piece of steel that cruises at -30 degrees Celcius. Anything you put on it freezes instantly. You can smear and scoop and roll and.......


The kind of stimulus I was crying out for was not economic. My friend Brian sent the CARE package in just the right style.

Now THAT is a Christmas present.....

So....if we have to go down....we go down walking forward, sun in our faces....still swinging our swords.

Or....Our anti-griddles!

Onwards.....Through the Fog!!!


Blogger Bennie Spiedel said...

The only people who matter, are those who believe in something that has a positive effect on the greater good.

I have just read a post written by one of these people.


2:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home