Chef Paul Parker is Back(ish), and I Couldn’t Be More Pleased

Folks, here’s an event you will not want to miss.  Not only will you be privy to a great meal, you’ll also get to participate an event that we were not sure would ever happen.  I’m really looking forward to the evening, and to the stories and fond memories that will arise.

Chef Paul Parker of the legendary Chez Sophie and Rare Earth Wine Bar will be making his long-anticipated return to the kitchen after surviving a serious bout with cancer.  It is an extreme privilege to work with him once again, and our recent conversations about food and cooking have inspired some fresh ideas that I will be able to use my work moving forward.

Paul and I will be collaborating on Mediterranean inspired tasting menu that will give diners a tour of the region’s flavors, with some clear influences from Paul’s French pedigree.

Amuse is located at 420 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, in the walkway between Kilwins and Cantina.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday February 5th.  We will be seating from 5:00-8:30  Reservations can be made through Open Table (link on amuseonbroadway.com) or by calling 518-421-4254 during our regular business hours.

Reservations for the chef’s counter can only be made by calling, and only 5, 5:30, 6, 8, and 8:30

Since Amuse is a very small restaurant, and we’ll have a short dinner service (we’re not going to overwork Paul yet), please make your reservations quickly, and do your best to avoid 7-7:30.  If Open Table is closed out, call me as we can sometimes get a table or two in.

The cost is $85 per person plus tax, gratuity, and beverages.

The menu is as follows and should not be altered.  If there are any issues with an actual allergy, please let us know at the time reservations are made as it may be impossible to address during dinner service.

rabbit liver | frisee | warm raspberry vinaigrette

country pâté | mustards | tarragon pickles

potato torta | shaved chorizo | smoked romesco

sardines en escabeche | warm lentil salad | pickled onions

clams | gigante beans | harissa broth

lamb sweetbreads | goat’s milk butter | capers | lemon

lebanese 7-spice and honey glazed quail | butternut squash puree

 

Get Along

Authenticity.  What does it even mean?

I do not make authentic dishes of any one cuisine or country of the Mediterranean region, but I am inspired by many cuisines and flavors of that region.  I use the spice profiles, the methods, and many of the ingredients used by the cultures that make up the area.

For every region in Mexico, for every neighborhood, and every household in fact there is a different way of making mole.  All are authentic.

My food is authentic.  Authentically mine and that’s all I claim.

Enough about that.

The number of restaurant consultants I’ve met since starting amuse on broadway is interesting.  The nice thing is that they’re willing to offer their advice and expertise at no charge and without prompting.

Imagine if all the consultants were customers.

To Hell with the NCAA.  The exist simply to maintain their own existence. That’s just a general “to Hell with,” nothing specific.

While I’m certainly aware of Italy’s contribution to Mediterranean cuisine, I have tried to avoid Italian food at amuse, sticking to North African and Eastern Mediterranean flavors, as well as a few inspirations from Spain.

If one more food critic uses the phrase “plenty of crusty bread for mopping up……..”  I’m going to increase my dislike for food critics.

It was Marco Pierre White who lamented about critics saying, “we’re being judged by those who know less than we do.”

Take money and religion out of the equation and I’m thinking we’ll have peace.

Let me now understand this. Trump kills an Iranian general, then Americans that have bald eagles with flags behind them as their profile pictures that have never served in the military and love the idea of “kicking ass” around the world post what they think are funny memes about our president assassinating another nation’s military leader.  That nation goes on high alert and started firing missiles at our military base in Iraq, and finally shot down a commercial jet that would have normally been free to fly to its destination.  Now, many families around the world, including our Canadian neighbors are without their dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends…………

The memes just aren’t funny, but they do say how our population has become desensitized to war and its results.

The US has had a total of 16 years without military conflict in its history.

Not supporting the bombing of Iran does not mean I’m a Liberal, a Democrat, or a snowflake.  It does not mean I’m anti-American or that I sympathize with terrorists.  What it means is that I’m simply tired of our nation being at war in some form or another, I’m tired of our service men and women dying and being injured, I’m tired of innocent civilians in other countries being killed, and I’m certainly sick of wealthy people profiting from our aggressive and warring nature.

Who created terrorists?

When I was in middle school there was a kid who was not like most other kids, he seemed odd and kept to himself.  I was immature and  would sometimes poke him with teasing then fault him for his response.  As it turns out, the kid’s father used to smack him around. I eventually started eating lunch with him on occasion.  One day I forgot my lunch and he gave me a ham sandwich with brown mustard on oat bread.  I still remember the taste of that sandwich.

Usually understanding one another helps us get along.

Yet another reminder, bruschetta is not chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil.  Bruschetta is grilled or charred bread served warm typically with a rub of garlic, perhaps some olive oil.  Upon that toast can be one of hundreds of toppings, one of them could be chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil.  It could also be mushrooms, chicken liver mousse, eggplant, blue cheese with honey, goat cheese, ricotta, cured salmon, olives, egg salad, pesto, hummus, robiola with fig…..

I’m not sure my Moroccan themed Christmas dinner was received with great enthusiasm.

I don’t mind instant coffee that much.  I prefer good coffee, but I’m not that picky.

My proposed new food trend for 2020 is for people to stop following trends.

Dishwasher Shopping

I hired a dishwasher a few weeks ago.  He was supposed to start on a Friday, but he called and said a family member was rushed to the hospital, I told him to start the following Friday.  He didn’t show up.  He said that he thought I said Saturday.  He worked on Saturday then the following Thursday.  He did a pretty good job.  On the third Friday he explained that he had been sick all night and couldn’t come in. Must be something about Fridays.  He doesn’t work for me anymore.

I hired a dishwasher who was supposed to start Wednesday.  He never showed up.

Dishwashers.

I don’t believe in any God, nor do I believe in Santa Clause.  I do not think there have ever been any wars fought over the belief in Santa.  Given the choice, I’d take old St. Nick as his impact on the world has been far less destructive.

I’ve mentioned in the past that it’s hard for me to be out in public, especially at a grocery store.  I just think so many people there forget that there are other people in the store trying to shop as well.

I starts when I walk into the store behind someone and stop just inside the door so they can organize their list and coupons without leaving enough room for anyone else to get by.

People with their cart and 4 kids up against the meat display taking 10 minutes to pick out a package of pork chops at that moment when I’m there to buy pork chops.

When stopping your cart while shopping ask yourself if other people can get by.  Just be aware that Dominic might be shopping too and he’s unreasonably irritated by life’s simple occurrences.

There’s no grocery bagger, the cashier has no idea why there’s a rack of bags directly behind her (or him for NPR fans) so they just let the groceries pile up down at the end, and the shopper is above bagging their own items.  Said shopper waits until the cashier (who could have bagged while scanning) has bagged up your groceries to take out the checkbook, find a pen, and ask who to make the check out to.  Or, for the progressive shopper who uses a card, but still waits until the end to jam the card into the slot like they’re trying to get a dagger through an enemy combatant’s breast plate, then push the buttons like they’re typing on a manual typewriter from 1956.

I love the Red Sox.  Red Sox fans not as much, they’re too damn anxious.

The cashier was instructing an 85-year-old couple to download the app so they could track their rewards program points.  The look the couple gave the cashier was one of utter bewilderment.  It appeared the elderly couple was clueless, but I contend that it was the Hannaford employee that was clueless, as she flaunted her obliviousness to the situation.

I get it, apps are how we work now, but we’re no longer able to service folks who are beyond today’s technology.  This is not a new concept, I’m sure the horseless carriage caused similar issues.  We just tend to leave people behind in a sink or swim situation.

You can serve people too much food and charge them for it, or you can give reasonable portions and make going out to dinner a better value.

Recently the tight-assed group 1 Million Moms put enough pressure on that horrible Hallmark Channel to move them to remove a commercial that featured a same-sex kiss.  Shame on the Hallmark Channel for buckling under the pressure from a group of people whose purpose in life is to direct others how to live.  If they wanted to do some actual good in the name of the greatest and most popular work of fiction created, then they would go after con men like Joel Osteen and the other preachers of fables and fantastic stories who make great sums of money preying on the fears of misdirected believers.

While writing some of this I’m listening to The Highwaymen live at Nassau Coliseum recorded in 1990.  These guys are American icons who sing honest songs.

Just a lot of ranting, I know.  Thanks for listening.  Chef’s day is looking good so far today, but it’s early.

Old Flavors are New Again

There’s nothing new about the flavors I’m presenting at Amuse. In fact, they’re quite old, most even ancient.  I’m not looking to be overly innovative with most of what I’m creating as of late, but I am seeking to use the spice of Northern Africa, Spain, and the Eastern Mediterranean in to introduce new flavors to Saratoga Springs.

I don’t feel the need to recreate traditional, and dishes of specific countries or cultures, but instead use the spice blends in applications that I as a chef deem culinarily fun and of course, delicious.  My “non-traditional bouillabaisse” is a great example. While the dish and many like it are classics in the Mediterranean region, this specific preparation is not.  I try to blend traditional ideas from one culture but use a flavor profile from another in the area.  I could not necessarily label anything on the menu as specifically Turkish, Moroccan, Spanish, or Syrian.  I can however call my cooking inspired by all those cuisines and others that have such a long food history.

So, if you’re looking for recipes to be exact to any country of origin, forget it, I’m gonna mix them up and see what shakes out. My way

I will tell you this:  It’s going to taste good, It’s going to challenge your taste buds, and it’s going to be new it these here parts.

I have so far excluded Italy, and mostly because I’ve done it, and so has everyone else.  I want something new and you should as well.

I am going to start making some hand-made pasta soon and see if we can do something interesting with it for a change.

Some cumin and a dollop of yogurt does not make it Middle Eastern.  The cooking in that part of the world may seem simple and developed from poverty, but it’s a very culinarily complex region with such a long history, multitudes of religions, cultures, and ethnic groups.  I’m doing my best to understand it and recreate it in my own way.  It’s a good thing I have no rules.

Our industry only moves forward with flexibility, innovation, and culinary license. Oh, and limited rules.

Well, Amuse is open and I’m having a great time.  We’ve got a long way to go before we become everything we’ve set out to be, but the start is very encouraging and I’m confident Amuse will shape up to realizing its potential in the coming weeks and months.

In the past four weeks I’ve lost 28 lbs.  I have drastically reduced alcohol and almost eliminated junk food. I’m also ending meals at the point when I’m comfortably full, no further.  I feel better than I have in a long time.

At this juncture in my restaurant career, I find far more pleasure in enjoying who came in vs. how many came in. Sure, I could count covers, but at this point I’d rather relish in the fact that I’m drawing people who are in to enjoy the food and flavors rather than just be fed.

The servers at Amuse are top-notch, I’m lucky to have them.

Alan has made significant strides.

I’m going to serve goat soon, perhaps for New Year’s Eve.

Pride

My last dishwasher found waking up for a 5:00 shift difficult.  Now he can sleep in.

Jenn and I purchased a new stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator from Lowe’s.  On the day the appliances were to be delivered we were informed that the fridge that was previously seen in the warehouse was nowhere to be seen.  The sales department and the shipping department gave us a bullshit story about their inventory to explain their unintentional error. We suspected that our fridge had been desired by another party and was sold to them.  The delivery guys fully supported our theory and advised us to seek more than the 10% discount offered.

My son came home from a birthday party on Sunday with a punch balloon. As much as it would upset him, I somewhat hope each day that it pops.

I’m almost done with the New Year’s Eve menu which I’ll post on amuseonbroadway.com on Sunday.  It will be fun, full of small tapas and mezze, and the prices won’t be inflated for the holiday.

There will be 7 seafood dishes on the menu for December 20th and 21st with a special price for those that may want to enjoy the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes in a series of 5 courses.  They will also be available individually.

A Catholic tradition done with flavors that are typically enjoyed in Muslim countries?  Who says food can’t bring the world together.

See you at Amuse.

Amused to Death

Amused to Death is a Roger Waters song.

I’m starting Amuse in early November.  My goal was a bit earlier, but some health concerns have slowed me down.  I reported in a previous post that I weaned off Lexapro, but that did not work favorably for me.  I felt myself falling back into a depression and quite frankly had a loss of interest.  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve readjusted to a reasonable dose and am feeling a lot better.

Also, I have been feeling physically poor and developed inflamed, swollen lymph nodes which seemed to concern my doctor.  His first reaction was to send me for additional bloodwork and chest X-rays immediately, as in right now. The markers for cancer in my blood were elevated, so that got and held my attention.  Having lost both a brother (48) and a sister (43) as well as my Dad to cancer, I was both shaken and stirred.  Last Monday night, after another recent exam and round of bloodwork I had a CT scan due to continued inflammation (a good temporary excuse for my big belly) and tenderness in my abdomen. Just after 8 am on Tuesday my doctor called and let me know my scan was clean, and that the markers that were elevated previously were now down.  That was very good news given to me, and coincidentally it was on the birthdate of my late brother and sister who were twins.  Looks like I may live.

We’ll keep an eye on my lymph nodes, and if they become swollen again, one will be removed and looked at closer.

Depression addressed and controlled can be mitigated successfully.  Ignored or mismanaged, it can be destructive.

I still need to exercise and eat less, keep away from the Bourbon, and stay on my meds as my doctor has instructed me to.

I feel much improved and look to moving forward as planned.

Amuse will be provide a food-first experience in a casual, fun, and intimate atmosphere from Wednesday-Saturday.  A key feature of Amuse will be the 8-seat interactive chef’s counter that will allow guests to speak directly to the chef and see their plates prepared, plated, and presented.  There will also be 24 seats in a small dining room with a server’s station to openly and quickly serve the guests’ needs.  Also included will be a small lounge area with comfortable couches and chairs for a more casual experience where guests can enjoy a few small plates, a local cheese from our cheese cart, and a glass of carefully selected wine or craft beer.

I don’t understand a steak knife stuck into the top of a burger.

When you credit God for your accomplishments, you sell yourself short.

One thing that makes Amuse interesting is that it’s located in a shared space with Saratoga’s Broadway Deli.  From 8:00am-4:00pm, the Jewish-style deli serves great egg sandwiches, bagels, fantastic and fresh deli sandwiches, salads, and desserts along with the traditional Joe’s chips and Dr. Brown’s sodas.

There will be a constantly changing menu at Amuse that will evolve with the seasons and as products come into and out of availability. Changes will also follow the chef’s whims.  The first week’s menu is below.  The goal at Amuse is to be inspired by the many flavors of the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea, including special homage to the beautiful array of spice blends that not only make each cuisine unique, but also ties them together with a common thread of spices and herbs.

The past week has been busy.  Aside from my scan and working on Amuse, we had to prepare our kitchen and bathroom for flooring installers who came to lay porcelain tile.  We also had new appliances delivered Saturday morning, so we have no kitchen for a few days.  I’m glad it’s warm enough outside, so we can still use the grill.

Why do people lean oddly backwards when taking a photo?

If you alter a dish on a menu, you void the warranty.

Words that should not appear on a menu:  “Ask your server.”

The name Amuse came from two things.  First is the commitment to small plates.  While not true amuse bouche in size, the plates will be small, as the goal at Amuse is to provide guests with a sampling of dishes that showcase the region’s cuisine.  The second source of the name comes from the chef’s direct interaction with guests both at the counter and in the dining room in order to engage people in discussion about the food, its origins, history, and preparation.  Amuse will also be a place to share stories, recollections, and thoughts about restaurants and restaurant life.

The opening menu, and some photos of the food can be found at amuseonbroadway.com

A reservation system and business phone number are on the way, but in the meantime, we can be reached at yawningduck@gmail.com for reservations, thoughts, and employment inquiries.

Shouldn’t your server tell you without asking?

If I need a steak knife with a burger, then it’s not a burger.

Like and stay tuned to Amuse’s Facebook page, and my page, Chef Dominic Colose for updates and a timeline.

Inn and Out Snippets

I was minding my own business, enjoying the summer with my children and working in my garden when I was summoned to The Inn at Erlowest to handle an emergency.

My plan was to open Amuse on Broadway on September 19th, but the call for help has pushed that back some, with a target date in late October.  See, the chef left on very short notice, the sous chef and line cook were set to depart only a week later.  That’s the whole kitchen.  The banquet kitchen is solid, and was intact, but is not capable of running the dining room kitchen as well due to the demands for their services.

Frank Dittrich, a partner at Erlowest, and its General Manager is a good guy, the kind of person that when in trouble, you drop some stuff to try and help.  So, my summer ended abruptly, and I found myself in the kitchen, often alone, keeping business going in the dining room.

I think a good life is a balance of pleasurable work, enjoyable play, and rest.  That’s my goal as I look to at turning 56 in December.

I worked for almost three weeks without a day off, often alone.  I put a menu in place that I could execute, and quite frankly would give me the opportunity to try some recipes and plates I have in mind for Amuse.

I really do not subscribe to the continued use of microgreens. Why are we growing food in order to decorate our food?  Besides, most cooks use them poorly.

I recently purchased 2 beautiful knives from JJ Faiola, who makes chef’s (and other) knives without the use of machinery.  They are hand-forged, hand-honed, and attached to gorgeous custom-made handles.  If you want something special, look him up on FB.

If you don’t know what FB is, you don’t deserve new knives.

If you order something like knives, or any hand-crafted item that takes significant time and labor, then renege on the deal for no other reason than you just don’t feel like purchasing the item, then that’s just dirty play at life.  Yes, someone did that to a fine bladesmith recently.  You may read this, and you know who you are.

Too many people are on too many meds.

American like more cheese, more bacon, extra sauce, a side of fries, and double meat, and no gluten.

Music that says 30 something, but a menu that says 60 something.

Can we not do zigzags on plates with squeeze bottles?

I will not be playing to the crowd.

Crayola crayons are superior to all others.

Why is it that a great line cook is like a trained Ninja  assassin in the kitchen, but can barely survive on the outside?

Not every sandwich needs tomato and lettuce.

Is pprayer saying God might have a flawed plan and you might know better? That’s up to you I suppose.

Not showing up for a scheduled interview makes employers not want commit time to interviews.  That ruins it for the people who care and want a job.

Large plates of food that cannot be finished in one sitting are obnoxious and wasteful.  If your criteria for choosing a restaurant is based on portion size, then Amuse may not be for you.

Watching people decide where to sit in a coffee shop can be entertaining.

While at Erlowest I checked in a late afternoon delivery from Driscoll Foods that was left on the truck from the morning delivery, when no one was there to check it in.  The drivers wear shirts that say Delivery Specialists.

I (and others) carefully explained to a Sysco rep that the lobsters we were ordering were for a dinner for a Make-a Wish sponsored dinner.  The little girl wanted lobster, and that this was the most important part of the order.  I (and others) were sure we had made it clear to her the significance of the lobsters.  The delivery came.  No lobsters.  She forgot.  Her remedy should have been “I’ll get in my car and pick up lobsters at Price Chopper (Hannaford, or wherever).” The reality was “I’ll see if I can get a van up there later today.”

Earlier in my tenure at Erlowest she asked me why I dislike Sysco so much.

Hungry for Snippets

Apparently people are hungry for snippets.  Here you go.

I tried to not write on this blog anymore while moving my thoughts to Facebook and ultimately to my new website.  The problem, as it was pointed out to me by several readers via email that FB has algorithms,  so things I write get missed by a lot of people, so here I am again.

I have not been drinking Bourbon.

I do drink between one and three beers when I get home from work.

I’ve weaned myself of Lexapro, it seems to be going well.

Server: “Chef, what’s wrong with this half and half?”

Chef:  “That’s a carton of egg whites.

Server: Eye roll, and likely thinking “Chef’s an asshole.”

Chef: (thinking) “reading is fundamental.”

The building that houses The Wine Bar is for sale.  If you’ve got those kind of funds, I can tell you that it’s been meticulously maintained.

I’ve got tons of mixed emotions about it, I introduced 21 seasonal menus from the kitchen, and went through some real highs and lows there.  It has been a big part of my career and life.

I think my doctor reads this goofy blog and now he knows I’ve weaned of my meds.  If it makes you feel any better, I did it very slowly.

If you think the “best supporting actor/actress” Oscar is silly, work in a restaurant.  The supporting cast is very important to the success of the lead characters.  Sometimes more important.

I checked out the ingredient list of the miracle burger, that’s the name of it, right?  Well, lets think about the shipping involved.  What’s involved in getting all the components to the fake food factory, the manufacturing process, and the shipping to wholesalers, then to retail outlets.  That’s some carbon footprint.  Think about the footprint left by locally raised beef.

My wife calls me a non-compliant patient.

Beef burger, with salt and pepper, three naturally occurring ingredients.  Impossible burger has eighteen, mostly processed ingredients.

I do love sandwiches.

The first table wasn’t until 7:00, the servers come in at 4:30.  When the first order comes in and chef is preparing amuse, directing the kitchen the server comes to the pass and admits “I haven’t looked at the menu, but can you tell me what comes on the lamb?”  In my head I’m thinking “You could actually read the menu I put some effort into.” Instead I explained what I was on the lamb.  That’s surprising since I’m off Lexapro.

The Mindy Project is a horrible show.  My wife likes it however, so I watch it, begrudgingly.

At the same time, server number two, looking on the white board, starts to ask questions about the list of desserts I wrote up there at 3:30.  These are desserts I worked on during the day.   I’ve learned to be more patient, but I delivered “listen you two, I have no idea what you’ve been doing for the last two and a half hours, but now that I have orders in, it’s not the time to start asking questions you should have asked earlier.”  This is unfortunately the common server behavior I’ve witnessed over the years.

Google.

My focus on, and command of dinner service is not always seen in a positive light by those unfamiliar with normal protocol.  It’s also looked upon with eye rolls by those with little interest in doing a stellar job.

Do not brag about your 30 years in a job if you’re still in the same position you started in.

Due to Stella’s dairy allergy, and a peanut allergy in the class, the rule made by the teacher is that snack can only be fresh fruits and vegetables.  There is one parent so upset by this that she’s been arguing on Facebook all day.  Her concern is that her son plays a lot of soccer and has 4% body fat (like most active eight-year-olds) and needs calorie-rich snacks throughout the day to survive.

Apparently, he has no need for fresh fruits and vegetables.

In past years, Stella has eaten lunch alone.  She has friends who insist on having a dairy-free lunch so they can eat with her.  Those kids are being raised with empathy and compassion.  Some kids however are not.

Parents fighting against fresh fruits and vegetables.  America, where fresh food is inconvenient.

Horses love fresh fruits and vegetables.

I’ve eaten horse.

Good night.

 

 

 

 

Mental Health Progress Needs More Than Luck

I’m trying to move this blog to my facebook page, Chef Dominic Colose, but the response is pretty low.  Therefore, I’ll keep posting here until I can get enough readers to make the switch to either that location or to my website which is being completed.

Mental health is an important issue for me, as my long time blog readers know. I will always be dealing with my own demons and difficulties.
This past week Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts retired from professional football, citing that the rigors of rehabbing from constant injuries has taken a toll in him and he wasn’t able to do it any longer.
My take is that physically the man is superior, and gifted, so the mental and emotional aspects of life in the NFL were too much, so he took control of his mental well-being and decided to do what was best for him. For that, fans booed him as he left the field for the last time. That was such a selfish and appalling act. If Andrew Luck had become so distraught and committed suicide, the response would have been “why didn’t he say something?” Well, he did. Nice going sports fans, way to truly support your team and it’s players. It’s clear that sports fans do not see their heroes as people, but as ?
In my business, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse are big issues, with serious consequences. In just the past few years I have known or worked with at least 5 chefs and cooks that have committed suicide or died from drug overdoses.
If you’re in or near the game, realize that the people who entertain you with sports, television or cooking are human beings with real issues. We are not here solely here for your entertainment, and you will survive without us. Be gentle, be kind, and be caring. Most of all, be what humans should be.

Trimming My Social Media

This is my next-to-Last post. My next post will detail my new project called Amuse on Broadway.  There are a few details to work out still, but you should be reading about it before week’s end.  This post, however, announces (for real this time) the end of chefsday in this form.  I will be eliminating the site, along with some other changes to make my life a little easier.

I’m making the changes in order to streamline my social media which will save myself some time, give more access to information about what I’m up to as a chef, and encourage me to create shorter and more culinarily focused blog posts several times per week.

I am creating a new Facebook page, Chef Dominic Colose that will encompass all I do as a professional chef including Amuse on Broadway, a Mediterranean focused chef’s counter and dining lounge (opening September 19th), The Yawning Duck Culinary Services catering and consulting, Chefs 4 Chefs, a BOH support system of mentoring, intervention, and fund raising, and finally chefsday, this blog about the daily life of a chef.

The Yawning Duck and the Chefs 4 Chefs pages will be coming down, and all content related to those two entities will be found on the new page along with what’s happening at Amuse. I am also considering removing (at least for a trial period) my personal FB page as it’s a time-suck, and a hotbed of silly and uninformed political rhetoric that I too easily get caught up in.  I’ll certainly keep my Instagram to promote my work and I’ll check out some other social media platforms.  The bottom line is, I want to focus on my work, and its promotion.

I really don’t believe that most people are interested that I’m watching TV and eating popcorn, or that I’m at the movies, or just checked in to Hoffman car wash. My personal life is mostly dull, and while I’m proud of my kids, I know that almost all parents are proud of their kids.  I love Piper the dog that lives at our house, and she’s adorable, but she’s a dog.  We’ve all seen dogs and cats.   They also don’t care that I dislike Trump, and that I like funny religious memes since I’m an atheist.  I’ll leave all the political bickering, fun-making, and ranting to everyone else.  Let’s make the internet fun again.

I will be eliminating chefsday on wordpress.com. My posts will be on my new FB page, and on my developing website only.  I will try to write almost every day, kind of as a diary of my life as a chef. I will have shorter posts with more focus on my current culinary activities, thoughts, and general food and restaurant related goings on.  I’ve always tried to write a minimum of 500 words, but typically compile 800-1000.  Not novel worthy, but long enough to make an evening project out of it.  I want to reduce to 250 or so and be more in-the-moment.

Not only will it be easier for my, it will make it easier for you to catch up on what this recovering depressive chef is up to, what I’m planning, and what’s happening at Amuse, which will have limited seating, a new menu every two weeks.

I hope you like it as I think you will.  My rebuilt website will be up soon, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, follow Chef Dominic Colose on Facebook, and feel free to send me a friend request as well.

Naked Feelings

I Oughta Bare My Naked Feelings

I haven’t felt like writing lately as followers of this goofy blog probably noticed.  The truth is that I haven’t felt like doing much in recent weeks.

Depression, anxiety, and self-doubt are not cured by taking antidepressants.  Symptoms can be controlled, but without therapy these mental disorders are not going to be minimized for too long.  I had a therapist, but I got tired of his dozing off during my sessions.  I know my life’s not overly exciting, but a little enthusiasm for the $110 per hour would be nice.  Perhaps if I threw in  “I had sex with the neighbor’s dog yesterday” when I noticed his eyes at half-mast, he would have shown more interest in what I was saying.

The other issue I cannot seem to get away from is alcohol.  I can quit for a few weeks or so, but I always find myself justifying having a glass of wine or being convinced I’ve earned a cold beer. Then comes whiskey.

So, I need another therapist, ideally one with a good background in alcohol related issues.  I cannot quit on my own, so it’s time for professional help.

I often (sometimes too openly) write what I’m thinking, and sometimes what I’m feeling.  I’ve concluded that it’s too much of the former and not enough of the latter. While writing a blog is geared to what you’re thinking concerning a specific subject, I’d prefer my writing to have a little more life than it has had lately.  I can be spiteful and tend to hold grudges which creeps into my posts needlessly.  I certainly don’t apologize for it, but the truth is it does me no good and keeps me from moving forward.  So, aside from my snippets and wandering style of writing, I’ll keep my focus on topics that are more interesting and more thoughtful.  For me, not you.  I think you’ll like it better.

Try to convince me that there’s a better cereal than Golden Grahams.

I’m really going to try avoiding politics on Facebook.  Comments on my posts sometimes remind me of someone taking an exam in college when they have little to no grasp of the subject, and write everything they can think of hoping to answer the question somehow.  Mostly it gives the professor needless reading and showed that they have a lot to say, just not about the topic at hand.

Man, I blew that one yesterday.

I’m likely not to change anyone’s mind, and political posts are simply a way for us to gain affirmation rather than spread information.  It’s tough though because Trump is such an asshole and the prominent Republicans are cowards.

Having empathy and compassion does not make you a snowflake or even a liberal.  Having empathy and compassion makes you a human being.

You know those Christian values the religious right fails to recognize.

A hamburger is made from ground beef.  Preferably a good quality blend of different cuts.

Hamburgers are not made from plants. Salads are made from plants.

The balsamic drizzle must stop across the board.

Bad versions kill the good versions.

A woman at just ahead of me at  Healthy Living spent way too much time explaining each item purchase das it related to Pinterest.  The cashier was fully engaged which made the situation even more annoying.  I  like HL, I can find great stuff to work around Stella’s dairy allergy, and I can find things not available other places like the goat’s milk yogurt I use for making labneh.

Boxed penne night.

I’m trying to be nice, but it’s not always easy for me.

Keeping it positive

Excuses and reasons are not the same.

Saratoga Chefs and restaurateurs let’s work together to make Saratoga the dining destination it can be.  Aside from my project (explained in my next post), there are some nice things happening.  Mike and Michelle Spain will be opening Seneca, the restaurants at The Adelphi are finally hitting their stride with a lot of talented chefs on staff, Flatbread Social is adding to the pizza game, Boca is getting interesting for a change, and Saratoga’s Broadway Deli is offering the best bagels in town, as well as excellent sandwiches. Saratoga also has Osteria Danny, Hamlet and Ghost, and 15 Church as established favorites. Sounds like a god core to start with.  That  We need some diversity, and I hope my Mediterranean flavors will help fill a void.  Some Caribbean/Jamaican, Korean, and (good) Chinese or Japanese would be great.  Ethiopian might be too much to ask for, how do we lure an Ethiopian chef to Saratoga?

We have enough hamburgers, tacos, and pasta with canned artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and olives in a white wine butter sauce.  Is Saratoga a crab cakes and shrimp cocktail kind of town or can we do better?