Thursday, April 10, 2008


Poor Zoi. But-No room for babies in the kitchen. It seemed quite clear from just a few minutes into the elimination challenge that Zoi should and probably would be on the block.
First things first...It was a great quickfire challenge. This is one that they should have right at the beginning and anyone that gets under 80%...GONE. C'mon, if this is what you do for a living, and for most of us live and breathe this biz, you better be able to differentiate between quality and crap MOST of the time. For Stephenie to get only 6 of 15, and then to say "well, I never do good in the quickfire challenges." What? This was you against yourself, no-one better do good, this is a measure of knowledge and taste, not skill or pressure. Lame. Now Antonia (whom I picked to lose this week, I suck) was right on solid...12 of 15, that's impressive!
Back to the elimination challenge. Richard, in all of his culinary gadgetry, and scientific wizardry didn't scale his fish properly (don't they make some sort of figga ma jigga to just remove the scales magically? Cook dude, this is not science, this is called "culinary art", and scaling the fish is one of the fundamentals! Should be mastered before you ever learn how to sous vide! As far as Team Earth, I think Antonia was right on with their dish, they just fucked it all up. Great idea, bad execution. I think Tom and Ming were full of shit that he thought a soup was perfect. I think if anyone lamed out and made a soup for their dish they would have been beaten down. They always say, "lay it out there", "was that what you thought would impress?", "don't go for the safe dish, go for a winning dish", "Top chef, not Top cook". Again, a hypocrisy, soup would have been a "safe" and lame dish to try to win. Andrew I still think is an ass and rides coat-tails, though this week I would not have wanted to have been on them. In the end, Zoi deserved to go. More than Spike, or Richard, or Mark, or Ryan...not sure about that, but she deserved to go none the less. The drama is starting to get good though, and i loved Lisa's reaction to "her chef" being "fired"...she is one tuff cookie! My pick for next week....Andrew. Not much talent and talks alot of smack.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Well, it is official. We FINALLY received our liquor license from the state, which took forever for no other reason than it was a state thing. Big government, boy, you've gotta love it! That being said a HUGE thank you to the Byram Town Council for getting together and approving that for us last night. Again, I can't say enough about working with Byram, they have really been great to work with. So if Doris and Jill, you are reading, this..Thank You!
Things are going at full steam right now. Gas line is being put in the kitchen, the hood is in its final stage of installation, our service techs from "Service Plus" have been out to deal with our equipment. Rich, our Plumber from "Reliable Plumbing" has just about finished all of the plumbing work. John, from "Crossroads Construction" is doing his finishing work on both the inside and outside. And John from "DeJohn Equipment Co." in Hopatcong who is putting in our septic, and been put through more than any one man should ever be put through for what should have been a straight-forward installation, is getting a wee bit closer to finishing. I thank all of them for working hard to try and get this whole thing going. So right now it seems the OFFICIAL PUBLIC OPENING IS APRIL 22!!!!!
Last night was "Project Self-Sufficiency" Taste of Talent at Perona Farms. And as always it was a blast and a well run event. These things are just loads of fun. It gives us the opportunity to talk with all of you who attend and see you all outside of the restaurant, as well as giving us time to meet with the other chef's, both local and not so local. So its a fun time for us to kind of just shoot the shit about biz and what not. For us it was also our public debut with Salt, giving us the opportunity to talk to everyone about our "New Thing" and introduce Tony, our new chef and Jennifer our Manager. It really went well and got us real excited to get this thing open! It was also a great time for us to talk about our "Industry Night" to everyone in the "Industry". For those of you in the biz, these are really going top be fun nights, hope to see you all there. So stay tuned for info on that. Another idea that came up and could be lots of fun is "Top Chef Nights" Every Wed. at 10 to get together have a few drinks and cheer and jeer at these guys. Could be lot's of fun.
One last thing, I was in last week talking with Frank and John over at "Cycle Works" down the street a little ways in Byram..Great guys, and what a biz, really really cool. They are interested in working at some level with us as far as a biking group, or just a place to gather after a ride. So if anyone is interested let us know. Running season is also upon us with lot's of organized runs all over the place. We'd really like to put together a group of people, at all levels, just for the camaraderie of running together and then gathering together for fun times. Shoot us an e-mail if you're interested.
Well that's the update for today.....

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Old age must slowly be creeping up on me. I sat down last night to write up a post. It was a post on a dinner that Laurie and I went to with two good friends to a local restaurant. Over dinner we all decided that the place was really worthy of an unbelievably in depth post about how bizarre the entire evening was. The menu was insane, the service was sloppy at best, the food was mediocre, place was just a huge mess, not literally, but decor was kind of every decade (from the mid 1700's to present) and genre (80's bar scene, revolutionary muskets, stuffed game fish, gumball machine, period furniture) mashed into each room. The food sounded fairly straight-forward until it listed ingredients that were just very bizarre combinations...ok, enough, enough, this is what I am trying to avoid. So anyway. I sat down last night and typed out this very detailed evening that we all experienced, and it read like a novel, a very bizarre Hunter Thompson/ Brett Easton Ellis/Quentin Tarantino type of novel (that truly is how bizarre the whole thing was). Then it hit me. I can't be like those people that I hate. I think the owners, and I am sure the chef, are very proud of their restaurant. It was clean, the food was prepared well, they had ideas, maybe poorly executed, but ideas. They obviously cared, and who am I to judge them. I never wish anything but the best for people that actually care about their businesses, Lord knows we put our heart and souls, not to mention every penny we have into these things. That being said, I wish nothing but the best for these guys, again, who am I to say whether something will work or not. This is a change of heart for me, usually I am one to share my opinion with anyone that will listen (or not listen), and this time it just didn't feel right...had they been rude, or the place filthy, or the food rancid, or anything that would have given a hint that these people didn't care and were just hoping to make a quick buck on unsuspecting diners I would be the first to share and to warn every and any one. That just wasn't the case. So I will keep the name to myself and keep the details of the evening to just this, the chips will fall where they will....Not sure if it's old age or all of these Buddhist studies and meditation, perhaps no longer drinking, I don't know, I can't explain...but it feels better.