Chefs have time to blog?

Keeping up with my 2008 goals has proved difficult--mostly due to technological problems. This computer, post champagne spill, has had issues. Nick, my longtime friend, and IT virtuoso told me how to fix it.

"Buy a mac."

Either way, not being able to connect to these sites has proved a a huge pain in the ass:

  • typepad
  • sfgate
  • technorati
  • and many, many others

When tax returns come, hopefully a new computer won't be far behind. Beyond PC issues, I just haven't had the time for pictures. Tonight I took two photographs, and I was shocked I was able to squeeze in time to do so.

Ryan Scott of Top Chef was in tonight, and after his Picatta debacle, we thought it would be funny to send him one...although it was called off at the last second. Pictures of the finished dish are coming soon. Did I mention Top chef Zoi used to work at Nopa?

So Shuna posted an interesting blog this week, and Bill Burge made some comments on the same phenomenon: Chef bloggers. I've tried to blog as transparently at possible...disclosing where I work, and what I do. I try to include photographs, and really show what goes down. However, i've never asked for permission to write what I do, nor have I even disclosed to my new employers that I write a blog. Whether or not disclosure of a blog is even necessary, I do not know. I do wonder what my bosses would think about me mentioning their name here though....

At PAV, my blog was common knowledge. At Nopa, no one but a single cook know about it. (And he hasnt even seen it yet.) Is it necessary to ask for permission to write about your work? Or is it our right to say what we want here?

Either way, I wish this was more coherent, but after all, it is 3:30am. Tonight was a 'slow' 318 covers...so I think a shower is in order about now. Happy St Patty's Day.



What is it-five weeks? Six weeks since I started at Nopa? I'm not even really sure. Days blur into nights...then back into days again. Cappuccino's at eleven thirty are becoming a nightly thing.

Tired? Sure. Nothing major, but it has taken a little getting used to. A seven hour service is a rarity in this city. That the cooks are so dialed and motivated makes a big difference, It's maybe the most unique group of cooks i've ever worked with...but with the same ole' jaded world view cooks are known for. There's a Tongan, a former pro poker player, a former waiter, and a guitar teacher. We talk about comics, sci-fi, 80's movies...and cooking. Did I mention they play De La Soul in the dining room during service?

Nopa is not a "relaxed" place though. Although there is no yelling, no scolding, no humiliation....everyone stays on their toes--as the idea of letting down the guests (and owners, who are right there, working as hard as everyone else) is unbearable. For me, the daily pressure of not fucking up what they had built over the last two years has been hard at times.

I don't come from a "rustic" background...so something as simple as plating has been interesting. After all the ornate sauce drags, and garnishing garnishes, letting the food "fall" on the plate (but still making it look good) can be a challenge. I get daily jokes about stacking my food into a tower.

Hopefully it wont be weeks before my next post.