Saturday, March 22, 2008


ChefRa.....Glad to hear you are interested, spread the word, I think it could be alot of fun for all of us. It's funny when people think we all know each other and the fact of the matter is that we are all so busy doing what we do that we never get a chance to see each other except benefits and the occassional night out. So here is a time for us to kick back, piss and moan about life and just get together. E-mail me at

Anonymous....brickwall tavern is exactly that, it is a tavern. This is just a response to someone saying brickwall tavern is NJ's first "gastropub". I did check them out, and nowhere did they or do they claim to be a "gastropub", but thanks for the heads-up.

Anonymous....Thanks for the interest in the book group. You (or anyone else reading this who might be interested) can e-mail me at and I will start to get the ball rolling and contact everyone about schedules.

The Troll...I understand completely what Dufresne is doing and I respect what he is doing to an extent, I just don't think food needs to be tinkered with at the restaurant level. I do understand the need for science to step in as far as a global effort to get longer growing seasons and what not. I am not a purist when it comes to cooking and do believe we should use ingredients and techniques available to us in our time, but I do believe food in it's purest state, with the least manipulation is when food is at its best, both health wise and flavor wise. When food is at its natural peak it is best, which is why we should stick with cooking "in-season" and local...Not taking away from what these guys are doing, and it is just my opinion. Seems to me the more we mix "science" in with the natural way or order the more problems we create that we then need more science to figure out. Anyway.... Now lets solve all the world's problems Troll...You and I!!! (lol)

Frank...I just always appreciate your comments! Thanks for reading!

Linda...Same as Frank up there...I love to see you name pop up in my "in-box". Thanks!

Markate...Thanks for the interest in the book/dinner me at and I will get you on the list for info and what-not.

Kleine1us...Yea, the reporters always seem to fuck things up on ya..oh well, I think Laurie cleared up anything in her follow up blog..we also tend to get a little sensitive. (lol)

Debbi...We didnt see the article in Budget Travel. If you have it in e-mail send it over we'd love to read it. (or snail mail..Salt 109 rt 206 Stanhope NJ 07874) Thanks for thinking of us!

Frank...Thanks for the compliments on the sign. Quite a Beacon it is! You saw us out there huh? That must have been some sight, glad it did'nt cause accidents, you know everyone has to watch the train-wreck. And you noticed my salt shaker rating system...what the hell right, makes it fun!

Jeff & Joan...No-one is counting down the day's like we Thanks for the compliments on the sign...we're really happy with it too. Hey Jeff..How about this running/biking club, have'nt heard you chime in yet....??

Eric...Thanks for letting us hang the sign "our" way, if we did it your way it would have been way too easy and therefore nothing to talk about, or for people to point and laugh at while they drove by on 206.

Anonymous...Yes...Stone IPA on's to ya!

Mike & Lori...No need to make a reservation, c'mon now!

And thats it for now! Boy I better do this more frequently....thanks for all the comments. Just remember, I can't answer you through the comment board so don't get offended if you don't get and immediate reply, I do read them all and appreciate the interest in what we're doing. See you all soon!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


So Dale has come out as this season's prima-donna whiner. "I'm here to cook, not gussy up a table". Going back to each season where these guys have to be reminded this is Top "CHEF", not Top "COOK". A lot more goes into being a chef then cooking, so much more, and if you don't get that then you are just a cook...maybe a very good cook, but still a cook. And what's with this fucking "molecular gastronomy", sure it seems real cool, don't get me wrong, but the day a chef has to trade in his chef coat for a lab coat is the day I hang it up. Since when did cooking become a "science"? I got into cooking because of the creativity it offered, the passion that goes into it, the basic premise of taking the best products you can find and cooking them with the least amount of fooling around. Like I said, this "science" stuff is neato and there is definatly a skill involved and what not, but I don't want to pick up a science book the next time I'm looking for ideas, I'll stick with the good old fashioned cook book. Andrew this season is no doubt the "Ass", I love his attitude, I just don't think he can back it up. There is something to be said for a bit of arrogance and cockiness as long as you can bring it to the table...take Anthony Bourdain for instance...I don't think Andrew can bring it. I missed this weeks dolt, I had guessed last week that it would have been Ryan going home. Though I still think Ryan will be an early departure looks like he might hang for a little bit. I was surprised with their pick though. Nikkis mushrooms obviously sucked, could not be presented, and left her with not much to show. Dale is just a Dick and took what was already a shitty dish and made it shittier...seems one of these two or both should have been sent....Oh well, this is all just my humble opinion.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Well, not to sound like a broken blog, but it was into Manhattan again this afternoon for Tony, Jeremiah, and myself for yet another auction. So the ride in was great, no traffic, good weather, so it was easy in. (Though it hurts now with the 8.00 to get into the city). It just got better from there...The auction was on the corner of 50th and 9th, we got right onto 10th ave and cruised right up to 50th st. and right on the corner a car was pulling out from a meter, so BAM, we were in, and only one block from the auction. It was 2:00 at this point and the auction started at 2:30..sweeet. I loaded up on quarters to feed the meter for the 3 or so hours we might be and Tony took charge of being the meter feeder for me. (You might see where this is going by now) The auction got off at about 3:00, so Tony ran to feed the meter, good for another hour. Auction went well, and we got some cool stuff as well as a few things we needed and it was now a little after 4, the auction was winding down and Tony run's out again. "Ring-Ring" goes my cell phone..."Brad, your car is gone, it was towed" "Get the fuck outta here" "no, really man, we were towed" "shit".
"Yea, the meters were til' 4, after that it's a no parking zone" "shit". Tony comes back to the restaurant to see what our plan is. So we decide we will walk over to the impound lot over on 38th and 12th. On our way over we notice helicopters hovering over the Hudson, then we see NYPD walking in riot helmets as well as alot of horseback. What the fuck is going on?? Then traffic is backed up, we walk past a bus that was just completely burnt out by a fire. Cops are directing traffic. This is a nightmare. I ask a cop "what is going on?" There is a protest on 12th ave outside the Chinese Consulate over Tibet, and it looks as though someone launced a paint can of "blood" at the building. The NYPD must have felt that these 100 or so Buddhist Tibetens might be complete anarchists and try to charge the building and burn and kill everyone inside because they had a line of mounted officers outside the building and the area was swarming with police everywhere. Anyway, we got out of that mess, found our way into the impound lot, and after paying 185.00 to the very nice woman behind a bullet-proof glass window we were on our way, and back to 50th street to pack up our "booty" and get back to NJ. Just another day in the life of trying to get this place open. I just know the next trip will be great, I just know it! Did I nmane this "GREAT DAY"??? I meant "SHITTY DAY, and the privilege to pay eight dollars for one"...
Tommorrow will be nothing but good news...I promise! I've been meditating!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ok, so I'm a control freak

But seriously, I have to add my comments and corrections to our article that appeared in today's Herald. For the most part, we enjoyed reading it, but here and there reading it was like taking a punch right in the stomach. I think we were misunderstood--understandable I suppose, happens a lot. So . . . here are my Herald corrections! ---

1. Tony's last name is MANDEVILLE, not Madebille, nor Mandebille.
2. While it's true that Jen & Eric's wedding was one of bula's first catering gigs, and definately its first catered wedding (and oh, there's a story if you want to hear it sometime), Jen never worked for bula. She is our manager here @ Salt and a good friend of Brad and Laurie.
3. Ok, really, do you actually think we were like, ok, so what should we name it? I dunno, hmmmmm Salt? Well ok cause what else will we call it? A pub name needs to be simple and easy to remember, the word Salt, being the essense of the culinary world seemed to be fitting, short and sweet and a little cool. We like it. There really WAS A THOUGHT PROCESS!!!! We were totally misquoted so many times in this article. Argh.
4. 76er's was never a diner.
5. THE BIGGEST MISQUOTE WAS: "WE WANT TO BE CHEERS" That was our punch in the stomach. Specifically what Brad said was: We DO NOT want to come across as we are trying to be Cheers." In fact whenever folks ask Brad what Salt is all about, over and over again I hear him say, "we don't want people to think we are trying to be like Cheers." How did this reporter hear the exact opposite!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????
6. I do not proclaim to know what the owner's of the first-ever gastropub, The Eagle, in London were thinking when they opened it. But what I do know is that they were the first ones and they wanted the focus to be on food.
7. Don't we look dang happy in that picture? We are, cause today the septic system is being put in the ground and now we know that within 2-3 weeks we can open our doors. We are dang happy.

Can't wait to see you all @ Salt. We'll keep you posted, and you keep reading!


Sunday, March 16, 2008


Well Tony and I have gotten a buttload of work done today on the fountain, but the damn thing is still not done...I know, I know, these things take a progress. This is why guys like us enjoy being in the kitchen, where for the most part, you prep it, you make it, you cook it, and after a very brief time, eat it. This building stuff is just a lot of "what about this way? I don't know, let's look at it that way? Hmm how about we turn it like this, no, turn it back blah blah ,blah, let's get coffee and discuss and look at it again when we get back....My conclusion is, and has always been....the world should be run by kitchen people. We are fairly intelligent, very hard working, never whine, understand deadlines (Hell, if the wedding is 2 weeks from friday its not, I am a bit behind we may have to push the date back a couple of days, or I didn't account for this....It's just get the shit done however you have to!

For anyone out there in the foodservice industry, we are trying to put together an industry night here at Salt. Its really in the shaping idea right now, but the idea is like on every Wed. evening from let's say 11pm-2am we kind of have the place to ourselves. Discounts on food and drink, great company and just a lot of camaraderie, thats for both front and back of house. We just think it's a great way for us all to get to know each other in more of a social sense than a professional one. If any of you foodies out there would think this would be cool drop me a line...we're really hoping to turn it into fun laid back night.

I know I mentioned this before but for all you fitties (or not so fittie, but might want to be) who would like to join a running or biking club we at Salt are surrounded by running and biking trails and would love to sponser and host a group here at the restaurant, which again would entail a run/bike then back to Salt for some carbs..both solid and liquid!

Now how about those readers out there? We want a club for you as well. What we do is, you sign up for the group and there is a list of the books we will be reading (all related to the restaurant industry, more specificly to being a chef). We choose a day every month, we get together to discuss the book, and get some professional insight from those of us in the industry. We (Tony and I) make a menu loosely styled around the book, and we all get to eat and discuss the book...again let us know of any interest.

Last but not least.....We have a very unique program we are starting here at Salt. Since our original idea here, Laurie and I thought it would be a fun thing to do, to present our menus on plain old brown clip boards to the table. Just something different and less formal. Then it hit us that why just have plain clipboards? Let's paint them and poly them so they will last a bit longer. People thought this was a great idea and wanted to know if they too could paint some for us...sure. Well, one night while brainstorming Laurie and I thought "Ya know what, I bet some of these are gonna be great--we could sell the clipboards and raise money. WELLLLL, Jennifer our Manager and her Husband Eric run a summer program for children who have been affected by aids in any number of ways. They offer them a great time away from their problems and thoughts for one week each summer and give them just a great time out here in Sussex County. So we decided that in a very small way maybe we can help them out by donating 100% of all of the clipboard sales to help with this camp...our suggested donation is 10.00, but would of course accept anything. If you have a talent(or even just the desire) and would like to join in let us know, we have plenty of clipboards, and the art is in the mind of the artist...drop us a line..

thanks b.