Well folks, it certainly has been a long time since I’ve written, and I’ve got a lot to talk about. I won’t cover everything in this post, but I will bring you up-to-date on my employment status. I also hope this kick-starts a revival of this blog. I have a few new posts almost ready, including some snippets for later today.
As many of you already know, I’m no longer at The Wine Bar. Sometimes relationships just run their course and it becomes time for both parties to move on. I am grateful for my time there, and am thankful for being allowed to do what a chefs do; create and execute menus. I think I wrote and carried through 17 seasonal menus during my tenure there.
When the executive chef’s position at The Inn at Erlowest in Lake George became available in mid December, I decided to apply, and then I interviewed for the position. The Inn has had an up and down ride over the last 10 years, interspersed with a few chefs that would be an asset to any kitchen. I was sure I could restore the culinary reputation that has been associated with the Inn in the past. I was also firmly convinced that this was a vehicle for me to take my culinary accomplishments to a higher level. It is a top-of-the class facility, with the resources that can help a chef achieve lofty goals with the right level of desire. I was hired as a consulting chef in early January to fill the gap between the time the executive chef left (Dec. 19th) and the pending leaving date of the executive sous chef (Jan. 29), and the hire of a new executive chef, which I was told would be a lengthy process with several interviews and tastings still to be carried out. It was understood that the current sous chef would run the kitchen until his last day as he had been a steady and dedicated employee for almost two years and had earned that opportunity. This gave me a chance to become familiar with my surroundings and plan my first menu without the extra responsibilities associated with running a kitchen. As one of the final candidates this was a great chance for me to prove that I was the clear choice for the position. I was also given the task of helping revamp the wine list that had been allowed to go into disarray.
Well, last week management let me know that the executive sous chef had a change of plans in his life and was not moving downstate. He expressed desire to stay at the Inn and was given the executive chef’s position without hesitation. It was clearly the right choice since his skill set was perfect for both the current use of the Inn, and the present level of cuisine happily served at the restaurant. He also has a management style that best fits the overall management style of the Erlowest management team. I was however asked to stay on as they really liked me and my work. It was a nice gesture, and I still had the wine list and some other projects to work on as well as helping out where I could in the kitchen. I was very surprised by the sudden turn of events that without proper thought agreed to continue even though the position I sought was no longer available.
After a few days of both food production and working on the couple of projects I had started it became very clear that my heart was not into it and without the goal of running the kitchen I felt little desire to continue. The bottom line is, I’m a chef, I first and foremost design plates and menus and execute them with the help of my kitchen staff. Without that function, other jobs alone do not excite me and will likely be done without full effort. Therefore, I could not in good conscience accept payment for sub-par work that I was not putting 100% effort into. Someone else was running the kitchen so it became obvious that there was no room at the Inn.
I’m now available to pursue new opportunities which I am looking forward to.