and i’m back…

the time has come for me to start blogging again!!  i have never been much of a reader, therefore writing is the only way i can keep my vocabulary from getting worse than it already is. thought i would back track a bit and catch you up on what’s been going on over the past couple of months.

picture it, NYC, december 2010.  (i have been watching episodes of ‘the golden girls’ after work every night as you perhaps can tell…then again if you do not share the same fondness for the golden girls as i, you may not get the reference).  9:30pm on some street in SOHO.  my cook sean and i have just finished up a fun holiday potluck with our friends at saveur magazine.  i walk ahead with excitement hoping to show sean a few more fun places in NY since he has never been. that resulted in me slipping on ice and ending up with two black eyes.

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i thought this would be the end of my travel forever.  i thought my partners kevin and rob were going to ground me.  in retrospect, i think texting everyone in chicago a picture of my face the day after the accident might not have been the brightest idea.  i found it humorous but everyone else freaked out.  what certainly was funny was that my friend and i still kept our reservation at le bernardin.  i know they have team service, but i think every front of house person came by our table for some reason or another.  i can imagine it was “holy crap did you see that chicks face at table 24?  that sh*t is f*cked up!!”  oh well.  dinner was tasty and the wine made me feel better smile

before heading back to chicago i met up with emeril to do his radio show.  thought for sure my black eyes would bring a good “BAM!” out of him.  no such luck. but i have to say the experience made me see emeril in a whole new light.  he has got to be one of the sweetest and most genuine ‘famous’ chefs i have met.  a whole lot more to him than a secret spice mix that makes everything taste better.

listen to the radio interview here.

after a bit of recovery and a couple of doctor visits i was back at work.  had to hide in the basement prepping for a few days so as to not scare away customers.  i have seen a couple of pictures of me with guests shortly thereafter and i look a bit like the devil with a bright red eye.  completely contradicting my ‘america’s sweet tart’ title given by phil vettel.  i just thought it made me look badass…we always describe the interior and the food at the goat as rustic and badass so it seemed fitting.  all i remember is that i was thinking how happy i was to be back and that with new years only a few days away, i should’ve gotten to work on some sort of menu for the night.

being the procrastinator that i am (obvious as i am writing about things that happened 2 months ago), i waited until the day of new years eve to actually put up any of the dishes.  sometimes i forget that just because i have some what of a clue as to what a dish is going to be, my cooks can not see into the craziness that is my brain, and are left in the dark until the very last minute.  400 people are coming in for dinner tonight and we are going to do an entirely new menu with 20 new items on it….may the force be with you.  yikes.  i promised them that next year i would have the menu ready at least 3 days before.  in the end we pulled it off.  the menu theme was based on old classics that we updated and put the goat treatment on.  beef wellington was actually seared scallop with foie gras mousse and beef tongue…coq au vin was confit chicken inside crisp rice crepes with shiitake mushrooms and red wine gastrique… that sort of thing.  i like themes.  themes for menus.  themes for gifts.  i once bought my sister an electric wok for christmas.  but it didn’t stop there.  i got her a stir fry cook book.  and some chopsticks.  themes.  think about it.

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that brings us to new year’s day.  or holiday party day if you work at the goat.  since we were closed on the 2nd, it seemed the best day to get everyone really drunk at the same time was on the 1st (turns out we were right…would have been a lot of calling in sick otherwise).  karaoke singing, dancing, and a heart felt slurry speech given by me ON the bar to finish it all off (of which i only know about because there was video footage to prove it).  the message of the speech was important though… i told my employees how grateful i was to have them all in my life.  that they are my friends and family.  and it is thanks to them that we have been able to do what we do.  love my little goats smile

that brings us to 2011.  thankfully things have not died down here at the goat as predicted by a certain food writer at the sun times… in fact things are great.  we have finally gotten the kitchen under control, well almost, so i can get back on the event circuit.  it also gives me time to start working on restaurant #2…

more info and stories of matching velour jumpsuits coming soon.