A Sweet Distraction

When January 1st arrives, and sweeps cooling winds throughout the way, there's a shift that is uniquely shared outside of any other time. The air smells crisp like stark citrus, cleansing and refreshing. There's a special pocket of time where invigoration condenses like clouds across the sky, new with each sunrise. This is the time [...]

The “Process”

[All photography is by the talented Nicholas Occhino] If you have ever wondered how I create my menus, let me explain. It starts out with anxiety. A steady leak of comparison drips through my mental barriers, and slithers down to smolder inside my chest. Fueled by the scrolling of Instagram posts and Facebook feeds lead [...]

Translation.

I wish someone had told me earlier that if what you want isn’t out in the world, you can make it. If the job you’re working makes you miserable, quit it. If the expectations you aren’t living up to make create anxiety and unease,  throw them away and find new ones. I wish I had [...]

Resurgence

[All photos courtesy of Nick Occhino] July 20th, 2017, is going to forever remain a pivotal moment in my life. It wasn't perfect, in retrospect it was quite amateur, but it was a shift. An internal inertia turned physical reality, right in front of my face, proving something true. I can do some really cool [...]

Reach.

Looking for the Line. I thought it was fairly clever, when I first thought of it (especially compared to "a checkered past"...cause, pants). It rings true in ways I didn't realize until recent weeks. Though I can't fully remember the turning point, there was one, back in college, where I looked at a plate of [...]

Bloom.

Finding purpose has never been an easily hit target, at any point, for myself. Murky waters of doubt surrounding the source of my intentions tend to cause anxiety, and spur retreat. Am I doing this for a real, true, sincere and honest reason? Or is it selfish, rooted in a deep and tangled web of [...]

Snap.

I remember dew clinging to pastel green stalks of asparagus, and climbing through overgrown patches of field to keep up with mommom. I remember her thin hands holding onto an old, wooden handled paring knife, and the snap of a stalk being cut. Rustles of an apron holding a small harvest. I can hear her alto voice [...]

Dig.

I want to want a lot of things. I want to feel the push for fine dining, for Michelin, for "greatness" in this field. I want to want the move, the one that would take me out of small town, into big city. The desire to work for a chef that will break me until [...]

Will.

Motivation will fail you. Passion will wain. Exhaustion sets in, insecurities gain traction, irrelevant comments take up space in your mind - circling, biting, gnawing at the marrow of your silly school age"passion". The handful of grandiose things that pushed me through culinary school, that got me through those all nighters and 12 hour labs [...]