Locally Grown

Leggo My Ego
2010/08/03, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wow, people, I don’t even know where to start with this one.  Those of you who have the bad luck of following me on twitter ( @vegchefDSM) have probably noticed a long string of trash talk between myself and Self-Proclaimed Celebrity Chef Don Hensley.  It’s not pretty, oh tens of readers, it’s not pretty even a little bit.  But rather than give SPCCDH any more air/interdork time than has already been wasted, I will use our little dance of douche-ness as inspiration for today’s post.

If you are from Iowa, your mother or grandmother probably made some sort of cucumber salad.  My mother’s cucumber salad involved equal parts of vinegar and water, and little did she know that was also the recipe for some of the personalities in the “cheffing” world.

You see, Chefs are driven not only by passion and a strong (sometimes) work ethic, but most chefs who are trying to “make it” are motivated by EGO. (I am usually only motivated by tacos, on which I sustain my culinary hack-ed-ness on)  Now, if we look at the classic EGO model

ok, I can’t talk trash about Cheffery.  You know what side I am on.

What I would like to see here in Our Fair City is a collaboration project for chefs.,   This has been topic of discussion betwixt myself and 5 local culinarians for a year, but we are mostly too busy or lack the planning knowledge to pull this alleged event together.

Think of it…A collaborative dinner for a few hundred lucky food lovers made by a team of the city’s A-list cooks to support a charity.  Almost sounds too “big city” for our little town (j/k)  With all of the shit talking between kitchens, and now a load of trash talk from someone who isn’t even part of our scene (you know who you are buddy) we could all use a little friendly non-competition.  Cook offs are for television and state fairs.  I don’t buy in to that line of thinking ever.

So, Chefs of DSM and the surrounding area, put down that ego and step away from the car.  Let’s get a REAL event happening here in DSM, and not some “Iron Chef” copycat bullshit.   Leave that for the egotists who don’t get food feedback face to face from diners and need ego affirmation from a panel of judges.

You know where to find me,

The Cook

p.s. Don, if you are reading this, I admit to starting the whole argument and being a little childish.  I don’t want to kiss and make up, but I would like you to use your expertise in organizing events to help with a charity dinner.  get back to me on that if you are game.


9 Comments so far
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I suggest that you hold this cook-up on a Sunday afternoon to coincide with my favorite eating event EVER: FRUNCH (it’s easy… friends + breakfast + lunch) Usually we all cook a potluck, sometimes with a theme, sometimes not. I am down to sit around while you all get cheftastic and I know AT LEAST 20 other people who would love to join. But you will need to provide mimosas as well….

Comment by Courtney Kain

Charity dinners are over done. How about a charity Sunday brunch with a competition for best breakfast potatoes/hash browns. Can you tell what I am craving right now?

Comment by Jarad Bernstein

Here in Kansas City I have worked a couple of events like this and they were great to be a part of. The first was a charity event for a women’s shelter, cooked by the best female chefs our fair city has to offer. The second wasn’t even for charity, just the chef of our restaurant and 3 of his chef friends, one of the best dinners I’ve had the priviledge of serving. Good luck with this in Des Moines, hopefully I can be part of the service staff on this little shindig!

Comment by Chris

If you need an organizer, let me know.

Comment by Dan H

Will do, Dan. Thank you.

Comment by locallygrown

Well, it’s nice of you to do this for charity, but why does everything have to always be for a cause? You guys work hard enough already…why not just hold a great food event (brunch, dinner, small plates, whatever) somewhere — take a profit, even. I mean, charity dinners are out of reach for many people. This would be a good way to expose a lot of people to your cooking–and not just the usual charity-event-suspects.

I’ve been following your dustup with DH a bit on twitter…While I like locallygrown’s ethos of not wanting to do this as a competition, there IS something engaging about a little healthy, good-natured competition to add newsy-ness, drama, excitement to the event.

Anyway, just do it….

Comment by la bonne femme

I did make it across your piece. I would like to make a few points:
You have taken a couple of pokes at me now on twitter, for what reason I am not sure, it’s unfortunate for me because I was becoming a fan of your writing. If you had noticed I had left a comment on enjoying a sandwich you had written about at the gateway market. I think you are a very witty and creative writer. I even talked about getting product donated to your collaborative event. It is too bad you had to let someone get to you because they don’t have the balls to address me personally. Who in the hell cares about some chef competition that happened 2 or 3 years ago? You brought that up, not me, whoever is having difficulty dealing with it, it’s time to let it go and move past it, so many bigger things in life.

Okay so you took a shot at me was for some self-promoting thing I said on twitter. What is twitter? When I kicked off my account I made the comment that twitter seems to be nothing more than a bunch of narcissist trying to get their name out, and I would fit right in. If you’re not trying to create a brand then why not just have the twitter name Sam? You mentioned being on some radio show, what is that? Smells like self -promotion. There is nothing wrong with trying to create a brand as a chef. Would you not like to show up at events, share your point of view and get paid for it? That’s what this is about. It takes work, time and exposure.

Let’s address the ego that I have so much of. Like anyone with any drive I want to do more than what I am doing. I did the restaurant thing and would not do it again. You have only worked for restaurants that have closed, try owning one someday. So in my position as a corporate chef I am now afforded plenty of time to do more projects. Not having a store front location anymore I am somewhat out of the loop in DM, so I try to stay active with the restaurant assoc., Winefest and various charities. I do try to keep my name out there; you never know what tomorrow brings. If that’s ego then I have it. As far as being a joke in this town, I have several friends that are great chefs, if the others think I am a joke, fuck em’ I don’t know who they are nor do I care, jealousy is an ugly thing.

You mentioned my TV pilot. It came out great, you tried to call it a failure, I would love for you to watch it, I think you would be surprised. So about the failure part, I was contacted about 5 months ago by http://www.filmgarden.tv/, they called me. We have signed an agreement for them to rep the show the next 16 months, even got to go to Vegas after placing in an independent producer’s competition. My other project, the cooking videos, the producer of the TV pilot, he suggested that we put together a bunch of cooking vignettes and throw them in an Iphone app and try to make a couple of bucks, why not? So if you don’t like my cooking videos, don’t watch them. That is why I am even bothering to be on twitter, to promote like everyone else. That is all I am trying to do, who isn’t? Everyone goes on about what a great marketing tool it is, you can get your name out there, sadly the only tool portion of it has been you.

Finally, I am a terrible writer as anyone who has suffered through this diatribe can tell and I concede you own that skill. That being said I checked out your radio spot and you could hardly put a sentence together so let’s agree to appreciate each others talents and play nice.

As far as getting the chef’s together, I said I would be happy too. I told you the other day I could work on getting food donated for an event like that.

For the record I have never claimed to be a Celebrity Chef. You must just see me that way.I am a local guy trying to break into some new things. Would I like to be one? Hell yes! Unlike some I prefer get out there and take the shot rather than sitting in front of a screen bad mouthing those with the balls and the energy to try.

Have a Great Day, looking forward to the collaboration.

Comment by Don Hensley

Don’t underestimate your writing skills! This is quite a reasoned response….not everyone can pull this off, believe you me!

Comment by la bonne femme

by the way your blog clock is way off.

Comment by Don Hensley

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