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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DO BETTER



            As I make my 39th trip around the sun I’ve discovered something about myself. There is an undeniable beast in my belly trying to get out. All this beast wants to do, is better. Not be better, do better. Put forth the effort that I know I can.

Don’t misconstrue this for low self-esteem or self-worth, I’m perfectly fine there, life is grand, how could it not be with the coolest wife in the world, and the greatest 2 kids OF ALL TIME (sorry, I ‘m sure your kids are cool too, but have you met mine, yet?).

This past year a musician named Frank Turner, that I had never heard before, released an album, yes I’m old and continue to call them albums just as every other self-respecting music fan should, called “Positive Songs for Negative People”. That title alone was calling out to me to listen. This was the philosophical change I needed in my head. Yes, admittedly I am a negative person by nature, I think of the worst before I think of the positive side of most situations. So this concept of positive thinking for a naturally negative person hit me hard this past year, and I realized THIS is what I want for me. I want to turn my thinking around and be more positive and optimistic. He has one song that I’m pretty sure he wrote just for me called Get Better (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB4Avdlz3lk). These are the lyrics that opened my mind:

“So try and get better and don’t ever accept less. Take a plain black marker and write this on your chest. Draw a line underneath all of this unhappiness. Come on now, let’s fix this mess. We could get better. Because we’re not dead yet”

Get better, because we’re not dead yet. Yup, that resonates with me right now, and I’m digging it. A lot. So let’s tie that into my life, your life, our life, this blog. I want to start a wave of culinary challenges between myself and anybody who wants to participate. I challenge you to DO BETTER with food. I have several ideas for small contributions to the world using the culinary arts. I also challenge you to challenge me as well. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about here’s a few ideas I have thought of:

Clean out your pantry and donate all your canned goods to a local shelter or food bank and set up a new pantry. Make your neighbor a pot of soup on a whim using organic ingredients. Remember your favorite dish you had at a restaurant and try to make that dish or meal. Seek out a new local restaurant in your area that you can make your new spot instead of a chain or franchise. After eating a great meal, buy the chef a glass of wine and ask them to autograph a menu.

Those are just a couple of ideas. Don’t make a big deal out of it, just try to make somebody’s day. Keep it cheap, doable, fun, and fulfilling. So please either respond to this post or email me if you want to participate. Send me challenges you want me to do, and I’ll send one for you. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing what some of you can come up with.
 

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Let's Get Cooking

Having had some amazing adventures during my 20 year career, beginning as a dishwasher all the way to Executive Chef and cooking for the James Beard Foundation, my goal now is to continue exploring food with people as passionate as I am. Whether it's to help a restaurant develop their menu, team and costs, throw a spectacular experiential dining event on the Main Line of Philadelphia or surrounding areas, or simply to experiment and cultivate a new culinary vision, I'm on a quest and looking for people to join me.

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