Monday, January 16, 2017

No matter how much I rest

I find myself able to rest and sleep some more.  On the one hand, I hate the weakness in this.  On the other hand, I am glad that I am catching up on sleep I clearly need.

Today, for example, I slept late, napped in a chair by the ocean, napped in a chair by the pool, and napped in the room.  I'm also going to bed early.

In between, I did sit on the beach, splash in the water, tiptoe in the pool, and so on.

Another rough day in paradise.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

From Cayman Cookout: Something I loved, something I despised

Something I loved:

Christina Tosi, the chef and owner of Milk Bar Bakery, possibly the most interesting bakery in the world right now, gave a presentation yesterday that I very much enjoyed--even though I don't bake.  I chose to attend her session so I could hear her talk about her work and the philosophy behind it, and I was not disappointed; she is an amazing and visionary chef.

What I didn't expect was to like so much her philosophy of business, which in many ways reminded me of PT.  She talked a great deal about her team as a team, and all the people from Milk Bar in attendance regularly nodded agreement.  At one point she talked about creating opportunities for her staff, paying people well, and providing them with benefits.  She said,

I want to create a business where no one ever has to sharpen their resume again.

Later, in discussing how we can have more businesses like hers, businesses that grow but that never lose touch with their roots and that will never be huge, she said that it's possible for those businesses to flourish if we will do one thing:

Support what you love.

I like that.  I like that a lot.  I do it to some degree by instinct, but I could do better.  When it's time to spend money, I should think a great deal about spending it with businesses I love.

I came away deeply impressed by Tosi and wishing I could sit and talk business with her for a while.

Something I despised:

Today at the brunch and cooking competition, Anthony Bourdain praised Jose Andres for being about to be the first chef sued by a sitting U.S. President.

A woman sitting next to me asked what the comment referred to, and I explained briefly, in the process noting Trump's many negative comments about Hispanics and other groups.

She responded,

[Trump's] only saying what everyone's thinking but are too afraid to say.


I most deeply hope she is wrong, and I am sad that she clearly agrees with Trump's awful comments.

Most of the foodies I have met share the same perspective on Trump, but clearly all do not.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Not dead, just busy and on holiday

Several personal correspondents have emailed me with their concerns that I was in some sort of trouble because I was not answering their email messages with my usual alacrity.

I am not in trouble.

I am fine.

I'm just very busy and on holiday, the former meaning most of my hours are full, and the latter meaning I'm prioritizing other things over catching up on email.

Don't worry:  vacations don't last forever.

Friday, January 13, 2017

In lieu of a narrative blog entry

please accept this photo of five varieties of jamon iberico bellotta

Click an image to see a larger version.

and this napkin, notable for the Bourdain quote (he was on hand, assembling steamed buns full of Korean barbecue).

All of this from tonights' Barefoot BBQ event at Cayman Cookout.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Just my usual day

Today was just my usual sort of day.

Woke up after nine hours of wonderful sleep in an amazing resort (Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman), stepped onto the balcony, and basked in the sound and smell of the ocean.

Flew with a group of about a dozen, including chef Eric Ripert, in a private jet (courtesy of the fine folks at Craggy Range wines) to Cayman Brac, a nearby sister island, for a two-hour special lunch at the incredible Soleil d'Or resort.

Flew back to the hotel in time to do a little email and nap.

Attended a wine and art auction that culminated with what the auctioneer, who was in the luncheon group, had called her greatest challenge:  a large chocolate helicopter handmade by a local master pastry maker.

(Click the image to see a larger version.)

The man to the right provides a sense of how big this insane thing was.

Headed offline and to bed early to sleep a ton before a morning event.

Yup, just my usual day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The view from my hotel room

is, predictably, as beautiful and perfect as ever.  Here's the version right after I hit the room in the late afternoon.

Click an image to see a larger version.

A few hours later, as I was heading to an early dinner, the view was this.

Yeah, it's pretty darn great here.

I was in the bed only three hours last night, so now it's time to crash.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Where I'm headed in the morning

Yup, it's Cayman Cookout time again.

Feel free to be jealous of me. I'm jealous of myself, and I get to go!


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