Anthony Bourdain

While in the South….

One should always pay proper homage to their southern roots. What does this mean folks???? A trip to the FloraBama and Waffle House!

Recall when Sean Brock and Anthony Bourdain went to Waffle House and these words were muttered?

“You don’t come here expecting the French Laundry,” Brock says. “You come here expecting something amazing.” “This is better than the French Laundry,” Bourdain replies.

No disrespect to Thomas Keller (Landlord and Mr. 3 First Names – Cover your eyes) but in the south the Waffle House kicks the shit out of French Laundry and twice on Sunday Morning! After a quick trip to the Florabama RJ and I asked our driver if they would drop us off at the Waffle House for a small meal. We arrived just before midnight and after a brief wait were ushered to a seat at the counter.

In proper respect to Sean Brock & Bourdain, I ordered a Pecan Waffle as an appetizer which puzzled RJ and settled for the 2 eggs fried, Scattered, Smothered, Covered X 2, Bacon and toast breakfast. I believe that RJ chowed down on a Philly Breakfast plate but when I recalled looking over there it was gone!

Maria – is there a Waffle House around these parts? I see a couple in PA.

The Florabama was warm and very GOP’ish to say the least!
Talk about a dick move by the Florabama. You ain’t in Brooklyn Bitch, you in the South!
It is about to go down!
Yes Please
The Nerve Center of Waffle House – The kitchen
Now that I look at this sober I realize we got screwed!
Oh my Cholesterol is hitting high Triple digits!
RJ’s Plate – Now I know why he was singing Ring of Fire the next morning – Jalapeno Peppers!
Wonder why I was so thirsty!
I am ashamed of the bill. It was high!
The Next morning I had a party scar and I was eating Imodium like it was Pez

Again apologies to Jenn for forgetting the hashbrowns in the Uber. I blame RJ for leaving it!

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How Do You Reheat A Pizza?

Recall the post when I was bitching about cooking for one person? Well Geranium did it to me again…..she ordered another Marley Spoon on her way to Seattle. By the way L.J.Z. – I have supported your ass now for 3 years….. When are you going to send “Banker Man” to one of my eye-talian suit guys? *If you are wondering what I am talking about. There is an un-written rule for us fellow sales reps that sell tickets on the double decker buses. You always support your own*

Anyway I informed Jackie, our evening desk person, that I would be cooking for her because I had 3 meals to either cook or trash. She was excited and didn’t bring dinner last night. The order that you have to cook proteins for Marley Spoons are in this order; Seafood, Meat/Pork and Vegetarian. ****Imagine that, the food that the cow’s shit on can last longer****

Last night I made the grilled salmon and grilled vegetables with a red pepper pesto sauce. I cooked it to the recipe directions (ish) by using a cast iron skillet plate that I have had for years. If you are not sure what I am talking about it. This is a cast iron rectangle plate that has a flat side and on the other side is ribbed for her pleasure. TRANSLATION – This gives you the open flame grill marks if you are not cooking outside on a Weber charcoal grill. I made the dish to the directions and grilled the Broccoli, Squash, Red Onion and Salmon in the apartment using the plate. I take it down to Jackie and fellow peer and they are freaking out on the grill marks.

  • “Did you go down to the 3rd floor and use one of the outside grills? (By the way those fuckers are electric) I inform them I made it in the apartment and used a plate.
  • “Oh, you made this on a special plate that I will never need unless I have to cook inside, I will be fine ordering from Seamless or Uber Eats.”

I look at Jacky and ask her if she has never cooked on an open flame before. *She is originally from Barbados* and she says that she has. I told her that if I didn’t have a plate I could have made due with a bakers cookie cooling rack and my stove. It was right then that I lost the poor girl and realized that the millennial generation needs to step it up. Seriously you fuckers may starve to death if the microwave gives out or Uber Eats can’t deliver.

*Back History – I grew up in the time when there wasn’t a food network. There wasn’t a cooking demonstration at William Sonoma. There certainly wasn’t a cooking show on TV. I mean I pretty much learned how to cook watching my mother/father or the maid. However in this case, I learned how to cook at the ripe age of 23 years old from the chefs at the 4-star Chez Philippe Restaurant in the Peabody Hotel Meanwhile I while living in the Shrine Building in downtown Memphis.*

I have said many times that I am little shit. No seriously, I admit it openly. Poor Geranium, while we were dating, grew tired of eating all the Heavy Cream dishes that I would make each weekend. To my defense, I would watch the guys on the line make these dishes nightly. I would think “I could do this!” Actually, I am surprised I didn’t kill her because I later realized that the chefs would par-cook the proteins and I just watched the finishing moment. In other words, my shitwas half cooked.

Cutting to the case – Bourdain would always preach that one should learn how to made an omelet.

“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”

He was referring to if you bring a person home for the night you at least owe him/her a decent meal before they are about to do the “walk of shame.” Millennials you need to start paying attention. You need to go buy you some items to put in the kitchen before you buy that Cross Fit membership. Then you should start playing around with cooking by watching You Tube or a cooking show. Try your dishes on your friends or that roommate that you always hate. This way when you are ready to cook for someone special you will be ready and not burning an a simple omelet for that one-night stand. Seriously folks, eggs are sold by the dozen. I even taught the Lady Killer how to break an egg without breaking shell. I mean, you need to do this and do it with grace. Wait till his mother, *who is the author for the title of this worthless dribble* finds out I have made the lady killer more marketable.

Changing the Subject yet again – My nephew when he was 12 fucking years old made Philly Cheese Steaks for Geranium and I. He was self-taught and figured it out from watching YouTube. *Of course Geranium was right behind him but he wanted to cook and by GOD he made dinner with little to no help…..And it was good too!* People, this is not brain surgery. Go forth and learn how to feed yourself! I am not asking you to field dress a deer, I am asking you to cook a decent burger and then serve it to someone.

So, in no consequential order this is the list of items that one should have in their kitchen. Jose Andres goes big baller with a Juicer but I say do this in baby steps. So here is what I say you need;

$4.00 Bakers wire Rack and you have a grill. Yes it is going to get dirty but whats the point of cooking if you aren’t going to get dirty. Oh by the way I see this get up all the time in the Korean Joints in Manhattan. Anyone Can Grill indoors.
This was the plate I used for cooking dinner tonight. If you don’t have one, it is fine.
The racks that are soaking in the sink. – I am cutting to my chase guys I promise
I did get some good grill marks tonight!
Get a Decent Knife and sharpen it every time. Yes I am an asshole and have all kinds of knives but I assure you they are sharp and ready to go.
Buy you a decent saute and and skillet pan.
BTW – Those pots and pans are 20 years old. Yes they are expensive but when you pay top dollar for stuff you will treat it differently.
The beauty of quality is that it will last forever.
Whatever you have that is your own I assure that you treat it with dignity and respect. Yes I acknowledge that I am anal retentive
You may lose a finger tip but get a Mandolin.
Always buy spices and seasonings. Try them all the time. Worse Case is that you have to order take out pizza!
Case in point, I found this recipe for Grilling Salt on Garden & Gun. Tried it one time and called my grilling concierge and told him I am sending him some goodness. He loved it and gave some to RJ
These baking pans are over 22 years old. We got them when we got married. Don’t ask for money. Ask for good cooking equipment!
Not the first item you have to get – I still don’t know how to use this fucking thing.
I know that Geranium loves it so it has a shelf to it’s own. Carbunkle Trumpet Says to master a knife, a Saute Pan and a stock pan then when you want to burn money get one of these.
#RoboCares
Gathered Dust Since we got it!

Bottom Line is Try Different Stuff.

Try to cook something other than your normal drunk food.

And if you have a new Kitchen Toy or recipe please don’t be bashful. I love things that are different.

One Year Ago Tomorrow – We Lost A Great Traveler

I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*

Best Friends

So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.

Tunisa

For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart.  His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;

To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who spent his life planting seeds

That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;

  • “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
  • “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”Or if you are 49 years old do this and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
  • “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
  • “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.  
  • “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”No Comment
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I plan on picking up from where we left off.
  • “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”It is very well documented that I smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the damn goose liver and I loved it!
  • “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.

And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.

  • “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.

So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.

All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.

How cool would it be if you were having a lunch on this beach?

Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.

To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.

Jose Andres – Are we still keeping score @GrainbinGirl?

So my good friend GrainbinGirl and I share a little obsession together. We stalk the F out of chefs and try to garner seats at restaurants that are the talk of the town. Every January we kick ourselves that we did not attend the Caymen Cookout with all the celebrity chefs but in fairness the price tag does make that a hard trip to swallow. Please note that before we moved to New York she had a sizeable lead on me with regards to chef sightings. That immediately changed

When we moved to the UES it was actually her who figured out that Eric Ripert was one of my neighbors and right after that discovery I ran into him. No seriously, Monkey Head Maddy blind as a bat, actually walked right into him on E71st street. As you can imagine he was petrified that he hurt her and picked her up and petted her. Since then we dined at a couple really cool joints and I rubbed it in to her but not to be a complete dick I did get her a book from Ripert.

When I found out that Jose Andres was going to be signing his new book at his new joint in Hudson Yards I messaged the Murphranks to see if they wanted to join. This was right after my return from Barcelona and Mr. 3 First Names responded that I must have really enjoyed Spain since I was now “Everything Spain”. I booked the tickets and last night we headed down to Hudson Yards to check it out.

To say that Jose Andres is a huge celebrity is not an exaggeration. To say that Jose Andres is a humanitarian doesn’t scratch the surface. To allude that Jose Andres isn’t passionate about life and about food you must have never watched of Bourdain’s shows. And what I also love about him is that he is one of the only chefs in the world to currently be sued by a sitting US President. Yeah, he hates Trump as much as I do. Actually who carries a red wine on tap at his restaurant in Hudson Yards called “Democrat”? But of course Jose Andres does.

Adam Rapport from Bon Appetite was the moderator but was more of a “keep things on track” and the back and forth between Andres and Matt Goulding was hilarious. When I say that you really should have been there it is an understatement. I mean who else can total a rental car in Barcelona and say to the rental car employee who is having a come-apart “But I am Jose Andres and I must get to Madrid” and they are thanking him? Jose did mention Anthony Bourdain during one of the questions but I loved this comment the best;

“I am a vegetarian, I mean look at me. I am as big as a cow and I got this way from eating only vegetables.”

I am betting he isn’t tweeting FAKE NEWS or advising anyone not to show up to a congressional subpoena
Adam Rapport on the left, Jose Andres center and Matt Goulding on the right
He spoke to every person and took every selfie. My kind of a guy
Oh did I mention that Tom Colicchio the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern and a slew of other restaurants was there too?

And don’t worry GrainbinGirl. There is a FedEx delivery heading your way tomorrow. #RoboCares

Year in Review – The Other Shit

Editors Note – I am not sure when I am going to publish this post. But in order to give a you proper understanding of my next statement today is the day that the President walked out of the Boarder wall/Government Shutdown meeting with Democrats.

Damn I miss that Anthony Bourdain isn’t here anymore. I could really use his commentary on current administration and his thoughts on immigrants coming into this country.

We lost a bunch of good people this past year. We lost Maddy our beloved Monkey Head, who would have told me that 4 months gone we still miss that fluff ball. I will get to that later but we also learned a bunch of new things about ourselves and we saw a bunch of cool stuff living here in the North East. Let’s dive in shall we?

Music and Shows are always big on our radar. We went to more Losers Lounge Shows than I care to think about. Tribute to Barbara Streisand was a good one. The Last Waltz was so-so, but we enjoyed the shit out of the Disco Cruise around the Hudson with the band. We also saw some concert shows this past year. Thanks to a certain someone who po-po’d on a ticket Mary Louise got to see “The Piano Man” from a suite. We caught Phil Collins at the Barclays and listened to some Elvis Impersonators on Long Island Off the beaten path we got to see the Airshow on the middle of Jones Beach for Memorial Day. Mary Louise also got to see some Broadway shows; Frozen, Waitress, One on this Island with different friends. I would be remiss to say that I saw David Byrne this year. Still one of the better shows I ever saw. Yes I said that again.

We had a bunch of different friends come up and see us too. We got to hang out with LoveBug one weekend and had a blast with her. But we can’t forget when EGP and Cali rolled into town and attended Slavic Easter Sunday Mass with us. Northwest Arkansas came over one weekend and we even had our favorite Venezuelan make an appearance while we were in the city on a Sunday. Our former dog & house sitters came to town and we got to see some Memphis BBQ guys roll into town one weekend. The invitation is always open to come see us. We have 2 hotels very close to us if you have to stay close to our joint in Brooklyn.

We explored our new neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn and found a whole bunch of new Dive Bars to frequent. By the way, and I have said it before; Moving in New York really sucks. The good news is that we are in our new home and we really enjoy living here. Of course the Muphranks have accused us separately of being bad influences. I will just say that it isn’t our fault that the mixologists at a couple of Park Slope bars over-serve patrons. We also went to the Rose Mansion this summer with Z(squared) and I even enjoyed it (just don’t tell anyone) but didn’t take a selfie there.

Sadly we said goodbye to some really good people this past year. Yes the loss of Anthony Bourdain is still a shock to me. But what it really does is cry out to people that on the exterior people may have their shit together but inside they need help. You can never know so here is my advice. Be good to people. Don’t be a dick. You have absolutely every right to disagree about politics but you don’t have to make it personal and attack people’s character. Stop and think about what you say or about to tweet. If you are a bully then you should automatically get to have your nuts kicked in. End of story.

Maddy hated it when ML’s got the outfits out. We sure do still miss her.
Donahue’s Doppelganger singing at Losers Lounge
Had a lot of fun with this knucklehead.
Jones Beach for the Airshow with the Muphranks
Elvis on Long Island
David Byrne at Kings Theater
The Gang at Phil Collins
Rocking the Hudson
Graduate with your Masters from NYU, Start a new job, Move to Brooklyn, Keep your shit together during it all – She is a fucking Rock Star!
We miss you Poppy!
On the 2/3 train you will travel by Franklin Street. God Bless the MTA as they put “Respect” signs as you travel by the stop.
A Fort Greene Gem I tell you!
Forgot about seeing Alan Cummings too! Also not a fan of our current Commander in Chief
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard is in the hood too!
A Brooklyn Dive Bar – Dimly lit bar, cash only, Tabs are considered a diet drink from the late 80’s
She swam over to see us!
Since Mary Louise occasionally travels on Sunday I find myself hanging with these two on Sunday Funday.
Our new place is kinda cool. We have an outdoor theater
Pay no attention to those glasses on the table.

Have a good day and remember what I said earlier; Don’t be a Dick!

In Memoriam – Anthony Bourdain

We all can recall what we were doing when we found out when Elvis Died. How about when we found out that Princess Diana was killed in the car crash. What about John-John Kennedy when he and his wife were killed in the plane crash? Well this past Friday I know what I was doing when I found out that Anthony Bourdain died. It was as I was getting ready to head out the door to head into the city and I got that text from my fellow chef stalker GrainBinGirl. 5 minutes later I got a text from Pepe with the same information.

First thoughts were – No way, not Bourdain. I clicked on the CNN link and the worst was confirmed. If you have ever read this worthless dribble of a blog you know that I have huge ass man crush on Bourdain. His writing, his stories, his love of exploring different cultures and naturally his love of food and drink were things that I envied. I read all of his books cover to cover. I binge watched No Reservations, The Layover, and Parts Unknown ad nauseum. When he went on tour I bought the damn tickets. Like I said, I loved that man and wanted to be just like him.

Now he is gone and a huge hole is in the hearts of millions of people and his fans. I have read pretty much every tribute to him. Watched the CNN memoriam and it still is unbelievable that I won’t ever get a chance to drink a beer with him in one of the many dive bars here in the city. Much less watch him visit my hometown, do a show on it and probably say something that will probably piss off half of twitter. KC Jayhawk was very bitter when he did the show on Kansas City.

While reading some of the comments on twitter I recall someone saying that the best way to honor Bourdain was to act like him. Go visit an unfamiliar place, order something that you have never tried before, and ask a complete stranger about their life. I know that Tony probably didn’t agree with everyone that he met along his journey but he respected them, he got to hear their side of the story and he grew from it. This is what made his shows so fucking good.

IMG_3380Never in a million years would I imagine that I would see this tribute on “the pass” at Per Se.

IMG_3393I don’t know why I made it a point to swing by the shuttered Les Halles yesterday but I had to. Deep down I know that this probably pisses Bourdain off because he wasn’t a fan of fame but people need closure.

IMG_3394To read some of the notes is a testament to how much he was loved by all walks of life, cultures and people.

IMG_3395I could have spent hours reading these but the crowd was rather large today.

IMG_3396Lots of flowers and cards

IMG_3398It is impressive to say the least. Like Graceland or Morrison’s grave impressive

IMG_3399Puts a smile on my face seeing this tribute

IMG_3401All kinds of stuff being left for his memorial

This one is going to hurt for a while. Condolences to his family, his friends and his fans.

Operation Ripert

You have heard me reference my fellow chef stalker AT in some previous posts. She, like me, is a foodie who is not afraid of plunking down some cash for a fancy meal. Back a couple years ago when my man crush, Anthony Bourdain, did his tour she was quick to purchase us tickets for Nashvegas and then Memphis. We attended the event and yes you probably have seen the pics of us with Bourdain in our Facebook pictures. She for the longest time was one up on me as she got to meet one of my other French Chef Gods, Eric Ripert. Well that shit changed last Wednesday.

Ripert just penned a book about his childhood and growing up to become a very young line cook in the critically acclaimed La Tour d’Argent in Paris. Here a string bean armed 17 year old cut his teeth or as I refer to it, became a man working in a French Kitchen. If you have never been a restaurant employee this next part may be a tad boring for you. When I graduated from the University I got a job as a busboy in Memphis’ acclaimed Chez Phillipe in the Peabody Hotel. The kitchen was run by Jose Gutierez who is a very well respected chef in Memphis. Jose was French, his sous chef was French, the Fish chef was Spanish, and the Garde Manager (salad & dessert chef) was from 110th street in Harlem. To say that there was some verbal abuse is an understatement. It was in this environment that I learned humility, self control and two words that I would say at least 100 times a night “Yes Chef!”  I learned how to operate under stress, how to stay focused and all the time while Chef was screaming at me “Hey Blondie, will you move your ass!”  Oh and thank God I wasn’t the worst one, poor back waiter JV took more abuse than any of us. I look back on this time as a great learning experience to become humble and learn respect. I, much like Ripert (stop laughing AT) went to work at another French Restaurant in Memphis and worked under the mad scientist Gene Bjorklund. Thankfully I got my first R.J. (Real Job) and went to working days.

Enough about me, Eric Ripert in his book, said that while working at La Tour d’Argent he cut himself, screwed up Béarnaise turning it into scrambled eggs and this was his first day too. He described it in his interview with Bon Appetite’s food editor as very hard and tested his soul to become a chef. After 2 years he then went to work for Joël Robuchon and here he learned that there was nothing short of excellence. If you want the rest of the story, go buy the damn book “32 Yolks” and read it yourself.

On Wednesday of last week I headed to Brooklyn for a book signing by Eric Ripert. The bookstore had a Q&A with Ripert and  Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetite and I have to say, it was pretty funny. Afterwards AT’s man crush signed copies of his book and since my girl AT said all she wanted was a signed copy of his book, I got her one and overnighted it to her. By the way AT, I chose not to get a pic with Ripert but did ask if he wanted to share an Uber since he lives not to far from me in the UES. He said he would have to decline because he was going to have a late dinner with his wife and son. We are going to get beers next weekend anyway.

So I guess the only last two names on my list are Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud and then I can move onto another genre of cuisine.  Happy Early Christmas AT! And if Eric Ripert goes missing I am sending them to your apartment in Memphis.

318771_4932146344203_660601464_nYeah, Yeah, You were first to meet him!

387911_4934076472455_1502071067_nHaven’t seen him yet but it is just a matter of time.

425789_10151349604149928_1782869171_nThis was right before AT asked Tony Bourdain “Does this napkin smell like Chloroform?”

IMG_1391Ripert and Adam Rapoport grilling each other.

IMG_1386So I got there a tad early to Dumbo in Brooklyn.

 AT – We still have our deal right? You get him, I get her right?

 

You want to hear who my Grandfather is?

“Have you met any famous people yet?” This is a question that we both get from time to time from our friends. My smartass canned response is traditionally “Well yes, every time I see my reflection in the mirror!” What I love about the people of New York is that famous people are just normal people getting by in the big city. I recall a story that my friend RJ told me when he was on the foam with the Asian Firemen who was walking on the street in Manhattan one day. The Fireman tells RJ that he is about to walk pass Drew Barrymore at the intersection and RJ hears him say “I loved you in ‘Something about Mary” as they pass. Naturally it was a joke and I don’t know if Ms. Barrymore responded to him but you got to love it.

There are plenty of famous people living here in New York City and I really think it is cool that it isn’t that big of a deal. Where we live, the mean streets of the Upper East Side, we are next building neighbors to Grainbin Girl’s favorite chef, Eric Ripert, and his wife. My main man crush Anthony Bourdain and his wife Octavia live at 94th and Madison Ave in Carnegie Hill and even though we haven’t slung beers it is just in time. Now when I do see them on the streets will I freak out, hug them, and dry hump their leg like a rabid dog? Time will tell but I do hope that I don’t make an ass of myself.  To date we have seen on the streets; Chris Robinson, Jackson Browne, Tina Fey, Alex Baldwin and I could have seen Pamela Anderson but I didn’t want to wait for her to exit ABC’s studio because, well I have already seen her video… (sorry for the bad pun) I am sure that my 3 readers have someone in their network of friends who “knows X the celebrity” and they share that information for validation. Bless their hearts.  When I say that New Yorkers are very nonchalant about famous people here is an exchange with one of my work compadres that I am still in shock and awe.

One of my work cohorts and I were talking about him borrowing my iFoam power cord and I tell J.S. to give it to me later when we all meet up for drinks later that evening. I joke “Hey both of our last names end in a vowel, I know you are good for it and won’t squelch.” That gets the conversation going toward Mob based movies and he tells us that his grandfather had a part in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”. He named the character’s name but unfortunately I quit watching it when I saw Steve Buscemi’s naked ass in the first season and that was enough for me. The next statement that J.S. said was a classic nonchalant New Yorker comment. “He also was in The Soprano’s show as he played one of the mobsters.” *MY EARS PERK UP*  “Did you say The Soprano’s, as in HBO’s award winning show The Soprano’s?” I ask. The next comment rolls off his tongue like it is no big deal; “Yeah, he played Junior Soprano or Uncle June. He has an apartment up near you CBT, he lives at 59th and First Avenue.” I was without words,  my mouth immediately goes dry like I just swallowed a bag of sand. “WAIT! YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOUR GRANDFATHER IS FUCKING DOMINIC CHIANESE!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”

No big deal to my work cohort, just another day sitting down with the family at Thanksgiving. Dude how cool would it to sit down with Uncle June and have a glass of wine and shoot the shit. That is what I love about this town.

junior-soprano-1024Yeah, my grandfather, he was in some movies and also is an accomplished Opera Singer too! #JSSandbaggedme

552461_10151349983739928_851859404_nIt was a good couple of days of stalking our favorites with SR

318771_4932146344203_660601464_n

He ends up missing, I am calling the tip line and telling them to check out an apartment on Georgia and Riverside Drive

And NO I won’t be stalking Matt Lauer or Al Roker anytime soon!

The Great Sushi Debate of New York

Apologies to my 3 readers because I am going to break character and jump up on my soapbox (so I can be normal height) for a minute. Up here we have some classic debates and arguments; naked painted women in Times Square, composting in apartments and single family dwellings, toasted or untoasted bagels, but now sushi? The department of Health is demanding that all sushi chefs wear gloves while preparing RTE (ready to eat) foods. The DOH went so far to close East Village’s Sushi Dojo run by critically acclaimed chef David Bouhadana for violating the no glove rule. Bouhadana isn’t taking this lying down and is being joined by other sushi restaurants and fighting the DOH as this rule was repealed in California a couple years back.

Being that I have a very good working knowledge of Institutional Foodservice I think this glove rule is absurd. Yes, a rubber glove does protect the worker from the food but do you know how many times I have seen a kitchen worker cross contaminate food wearing gloves? It is all about washing your hands but the DOH doesn’t see it like that. Personally, I am against gloves because it gives you a false sense of security and unless you have a cut on your hand who gives a feck if the guy in the kitchen is preparing my food with a clean glove or just recently washed hands?

Sushi is an art and you need that ‘touch’ to form the rice, filet the meat and let’s be honest folks, it is raw fucking seafood! Secondly, the sushi chefs aren’t grilling burgers here, they are fileting poisonous fish and serving it to those who wish to pay over 100 bucks a roll and guess what? They haven’t killed anyone yet so hey DOH, why not go look for rat droppings or pink slime in the ice machine. Lastly, they already have warnings plastered on the walls against eating raw shellfish and that pregnant women shouldn’t eat it. Why don’t you worry about something more important and let the sushi gods work their craft.

*gets down off my soapbox

These Department of Health guys need to stop jacking with something they don’t know anything about.

I mean seriously, when they have a safety notice about eating something then you really can’t bitch if you get sick.

What you are shocked that I would share the same view as my man crush.

Seriously, the next time you cook a meal from start to finish, count the number of times you wash your hands. I can almost promise that you washed your hands maybe twice and that was after handled raw chicken that had more steroids in it than the WWE.

Have a good weekend and please go order a Philly roll or a crunch tuna roll.