They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

We are now well into the final weeks of the thoroughbred racing season here in Saratoga and it’s busier than I have seen in recent years. The numbers are up all-over and for most that’s a good thing, if more money is your goal.

While I’m very tired, have sore feet, and a hernia, things are going quite well. My staff is performing at a great level with what we have to work with. It’s an undersized and well aged kitchen, yet we pump out excellent food at an impressive rate.

I’m not well-schooled when it comes to horse racing despite living in Saratoga for over 10 years, and I have no evidence to support my claim that the horses would rather be doing something else.

I’ve read that the horses are treated very well, even better than the illegal workers that take care of them. They have air-conditioned barns, are fed the best food, and are groomed as if they were at a spa. If I paid 2 million for an animal I’d take good care of it too, ya know, to protect my investment.

I’m pretty indifferent about horse racing, but like any of the things that entertain us, there’s a side of it that the general public doesn’t want to know about, and is better off turning a blind-eye to.

Skidmore College contributes more to the local economy than horse racing does.

When the season is over, I’ve got the Saratoga Food and Wine Festival at SPAC, a wedding for 80 to cook for at The Casino in Congress Park, and a private dinner for 5 in one of the penthouse suites  at The Grand Pavilion Hotel, and the launch of the Fall menu.  Just keepin’ busy.

Thinking about some venison loin with savory bread pudding made with acorn flour.  The acorn flour is my sous chef’s idea. Good idea, Patrick.

I can tell when track season kicks in for real when the percentage of diners requesting bread with olive oil and balsamic increases greatly.

The children are loving the new house.


Lamb with cardoon

Deez Nutz.

Some of what’s been happening this summer:

2015-06-12 22.12.38

Eggplant, pecorino Toscano,


Pastured Veal, roasted heirloom potatoes, grilled artichokes, caramelized garlic, veal pan jus.

We bought a new house and a new car.

I like watching kangaroos fight.

The sound of rain on a metal roof is soothing.

People do one of two things in Saratoga this time of year. Work, or play.


Berries, pineapple curd, whipped coconut milk, fresh mint.

You’d think I would have more to report during this very busy time, but I’m just too tired to think about much aside from the task at hand. I’m still working on a bit about what I think makes a successful chef, and I’ll do a post soon outlining my process involved in developing a Fall menu.

Thanks all who read my blog, and for being patient during this busy time when I’m not posting too much.

3 thoughts on “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

  1. Good service doesn’t make the food seem better. It makes the whole experience better. Bad food or seriously flawed food can’t be saved by good service. But if I’m treated respectfully by a friendly staff I’ll go back to try to find the really good things on the menu.


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