Monday, February 16, 2015


Any great restaurant, chef, is a service team and manager whom both understand the concept of the chef and are full in on the idea of the food.

Without that, you haven't anything at all.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


is all about angles. The angle which you look at something. The angle you slice a piece of meat. The angle the vine is planted on the hill. A small deviation from the desired outcome leads you to a completely different place.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Work to make it by. But why is it that we don't work to live?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The small details

I think often we put so much work, time, effort into the smallest of details that seemingly 99% of guests would never recognize the difference in.

But I think the 1% that do, it makes it from a great to euphoric moment, the moment that it all maybe makes sense, the moment where the plate is perfect and truly memorable.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Some years ago, a bit over seven, is where my story of working in restaurants and cooking began. I had miraculously been offered a job at a French brasserie in Richmond, and was surely an admirable restaurant rookie at the time.

One of our Sous Chef's had come from New York City and was a fantastic cook and better mentor. Currently, he is at The French Laundry in California. Sometime during my tenure, he brought to my attention the Wednesday New York Times, and enlightened me on the dining section and food critic, at the time Frank Bruni. He taught me about the weight the reviewer carries and the paper not only in New York City but around the world. and about how he always bought a copy on the way to work in New York City. So, following my newly gained knowledge, every Wednesday before school I would stop by the convenience store on the way to school and buy a copy of the paper, $2.10. I would look forward to reading it and seeing who the review was of, perhaps I had heard of the restaurant. It was the best day of the week for me, and I soon too felt the weight of the paper and the reviewer. As I would work on Wednesdays, I would bring Chef Joe the copy ever week (I learned a lesson one week of not having it and the disappoint he felt!) and he would read it and then we would talk about the review, the restaurant.

Since those days I have been an avid follower and acknowledge the weight of the "Grey Lady; All the News Fit to Print." Full circle, tomorrow our review comes out here at Racines. Following three visits, we are very hopeful that the current reviewer Pete Wells will be kind to us and award us a positive review (we are of course wishing for 3*, but firmly content and elated with a solid 2*). What a feeling it will be tomorrow to see our humble restaurant following three months of service and dedication by our small team in the New York Times! A dream, and closure of a lifelong dream. Be sure to wish for us, send us Champagne, and check out the article online tomorrow and in print Wednesday. Thank you Chef Joe distilling in me at a young age an appreciation for the true and highest authority in the restaurant industry, the New York Times.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


My mind and soul are. Where my food lies!

NYtimes, "Virginia's Lost History"

Thursday, June 26, 2014


with caring, feeling, emotion,

do they exist anymore?

Are you anywhere out there?