Locally Grown

Breaking News: Judged Worthy By Food Critics.

well, AMAZING TENS, it’s been a good long while since we have shared screen to screen moments.  When our eyes meet over the same words at different times…it’s like a deliciously delayed serendipity.

A lot has happened in the cook’s life over the last tens of months, I worked my buns off at cooking instead of making up words and ended up opening my own restaurant in the lovely East Village of the most amazing town west of the Mississippi and east of the Missouri, Des Moines.  Things are going swimingly so far (we are only just over a month in), and we have received our first few PRINT REVIEWS FROM FOOD CRITICS.  This is a moment I have been pretty nervous for, as some of you know I have been less than forgiving towards the writers of food article type things.  I sat in anticipation, knowing that my restaurant is doing things NEARLY up to my standards (if you are doing things right as a chef/owner/kitchen cat herder the nothing is going to be up to your standard…because of obsessing and raising the mental bar every day.), and also knowing that I have potentially upset a number of people who would be finally maybe writing/judging my true body of word, Tacopocalypse.  Turns out, either I am a little paranoid about the whole food reviewer thing (duh), or my crew is really doing the job that I am perceiving that they do.  Probably both.  All reviews have been very kind and positive at this point.  Thank you, we have truly worked hard to make sure that the dining experience is top notch for every person walking in the front door.  I know it’s all about personal perception, and the persons perceiving so far have been very happy.  Thank you, again.

Here’s the thing about personal perception: It’s personal.  Every single individual sees similar situations in slightly (or wildly) different ways.  Creating an experience that keeps a majority of the poplulace is a challenge because of this.  What keeps one happy can ultimately infuriate the next.  It’s some really frustrating shit, the kind of frustrating shit that birthed that keeps restaurant folk on their toes and continually aging faster than the rest of the populace, the kind of frustrating shit that caused this blog.  It’s the kind of shit, that if you encounter it for a long enough period of time, you might start finding the humor rather than the stomach grinding pain of it all.

Thank you to all who have visited my new restaurant and have elevated it to a level of medium-ish success with your shining faces, and especially to you critics…I hope that you come back and continue your positive personal perception of what we here are doing.

You know what, I might just start writing this blog again.  It feels good.  Just hope it doesn’t get me into any trouble…hahaha.


The Cook


Cochon555 Part IV: Neighbor Of The Beast

So by now most of you have probably heard about the Great PDX Cochon 555 Fracas of 2010 incident involving, among other folks, event owner and promoter Brady Lowe and Portland Douche/Celebrity Chef Eric Bechard. I really had no intention of ever writing about this as I feel strongly that Supreme Immaturity such as this should not be rewarded with words and face it, these mug shots are worth at least a thousand words apiece:

Victims of a (Pork) Lover's Quarrel?

Luckily Kelly Clarke of the Willamette Week Online, Portland’s Ultimate Fighting Guide to Chef Competitions, has done as bang up of a job at covering the Douche Bowl as Chef Eric Bechard has making himself look like the Biggest Loser. You can read Clarke’s original post here, and then the subsequent update with police report commentary here.

I think that everyone involved in the “Fracas” should get a standing ovation.

Keep up the great work, we're all counting on you

Now, as far as the Des Moines or DMI or DSM or whatever you prefer, Cochon 555 finale here, I was quoted in this week’s Juice (DSM’s answer to all things for the Children of the Corn Age Demographic) as to the future of Cochon555 contestant and local chef Hal Jasa’s planned restaurant, Homage. The last time I spoke with Chef Jasa about his plans it included the East Village.  I cannot at this time confirm nor deny his interest in that neighborhood. I DO confirm that I wuold like this restaurant to get off the ground soon.

Speaking of new restaurants…

OH, I should probably wait on that little chestnut of information.

Until next time, go to the TimberPine web site and steal my Cilantro Pesto recipe.


The Cook