I’m beginning to get very excited about the opening of the Black River Café. That’s not to say I was less motivated in the past, just that I’m a man who rarely will display dramatic emotional outbursts. For some reason people around me think less of me because I have very guarded emotions, too bad for them is what I’ve got to say, because if you stick with me, and get to know me, I’m actually quite confident and secure. I just can’t help myself this week-end though. We are siting on our hands waiting for a fryer to be installed, then we are ready to go. I’ll need 2 days until I’m ready to go full boar. I cooked for everyone the other day and everything came out at least satisfactory. When chicken sits for 15 minutes and the critique is that it’s dry, I’m cool with that. If less than half the people trying anything suggest it’s salty, then it’s fine, at least in a statistical sense. You will never please everybody, unless some of those people are prepared to lie.
I was reminiscing a bit earlier today about my time at Nemo’s and how peaceful that time was, even when I was itching through my skin to take on tasks and assignments that where in reality, quite imaginary for that specific position. An air of positive complacency seems to hang over Nemo’s. I have always used complacency in a negative connotation, as in "ok, this is cool, I’m not gonna try any harder," but at Nemo’s it was more like, "ok, this is cool, I’m happy with this, it’s working, let’s stop and smell the roses." It has been my nature in the past to turf the rose bush and go full speed ahead chasing an aspiration or goal that was, and still is undefined for me. Reminds me of a song, a good only Country Joe tune, but I’ve changed the words, "1,2,3, what are we striving for, don’t know and don’t give a damn, just a number in the un-employment line.....1,2,3, what are we working for, don’t know and don’t give a damn, just want to pay for that 6 foot deep hole in the ground"
So what have I learned, and what do these two paragraphs of introspection have to do with food. Well, I’ve learned that stopping to smell the roses is not a bad thing. Also, that it’s more important to be happy with what you have than to strive for those mostly unattainable things you don’t have. This outlook will help me be the best chef I can be in the moment, without putting unnecessary attention toward unattainable trophies. Yes I’ll have goals to work toward, and they will revolve around cooking, kitchens, restaurants and food, but they will not neglect the driver of the buss...the man who chooses exactly which roses to stop and smell.