Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Year, A New Voice

View from my station.

Three months ago, a friend of mine opened a restaurant in West Hollywood, and I called to see if I could help out. She said yes, and, she’s letting me document the experience. For the thousands of ways food establishments close, there’s only one way to open. It involves 80-hour weeks, sleep-deprived decision-making, and if you can think it, you can worry about it, from napkin inventory to payroll taxes.

I work the cold line, nights. My worst fear is running out of food on a busy shift, especially while I’m still new on the line and both chef-owners are in the kitchen with me. Last week, I cut too many two-year avocados for my mise en place, and all night they sat there, decaying. No worries, we can just compost them and grab more. In two years. A well-designed plan you can’t execute might as well be no plan at all, in the kitchen, in business, in life. And sometimes, perhaps most times, logic won’t get you to that great plan. I heard it, the voice that said, “Those are too many avocados.” I didn’t listen, because I didn’t want to have to cut and season avocados on the fly with seven tickets up during service. I reasoned it would be a busy night, and it was, just not for the avocado salad. While I was prepping, my gut said, “Easy on the avocados, cowgirl!”

Sorry, kids.

Enter the new year. I feel like setting a resolution is creating a plan I can’t execute, but a conversation with my loving compadre opened my eyes to a new way of preparing for the year. “What are your posts contributing outside your community of foodies?” he asked. The question hit me simultaneously like a ton of bricks and an inspiration. This year, I have one thought in mind when I hit the post button, “What else am I contributing when I publish this?” If this remains a straightforward recipe blog, I’m denying the side of my brain interested in people’s stories, and our senses of place and culture. There will still be recipes, to be sure. But, I set an intention to write more stories and take more pictures of subjects that intersect with food (and are not just about it.) My gut is telling me that’s the sweet spot, so I’m going to start there this time, with some fun stories from a back kitchen in Los Angeles.


  1. Don't deny your interests! It sounds like you should apply the lesson learned from those avocados to your blog. I certainly love ready stories and little glimpses into food culture along with recipes.

  2. Sounds fabulous. Looking forward to what emerges!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!