I love Anthony Bourdain. I am envious of him. Bourdain earned his privileges, he was the executive chef at Les Halles in New York for ten years, he wrote Kitchen Confidential (which I will be rereading today), and a number of other books, he writes shorter pieces for magazines and his own blog, and he is now best known as the host of the Travel Channel’s show No Reservations.
You will never hear Bourdain describe food as “Yum-O”, scream “Bam!”, try to “Kick It Up A Notch” with some “Eee-Vee-Oh-Oh”. He’s not a fan of the concept of celebrity chef, and isn’t ironic about having become one. He loves cooking, cooks, and chefs, be they unknown or celebrity; he mocks and derides celebrities who play chef.
Bourdain is too easily hurt, he has a million self defense mechanisms in place, cynicism most chiefly evident. What makes his No Reservations show appointment television in my house is being able to see the cynicism slip, then fall away, as beauty, pure and powerful, undoes Bourdain and transforms him before our eyes.
I have worked restaurants, mostly front of house, waiting tables from Dennys to tuxedo service, and managing a restaurant/nightclub where I made sure I knew how to do everyone’s job in case I needed to in an emergency. I can tend bar, I can wash dishes, I can make soups and salads and prep food, and I can cook. I loved cooking.
In my personal life, I still love to cook. I would like a little more room to do it in, and my 12 year old son wishes that our dishwasher was automatic and not named Charlie, but I love to cook. I have the ability to see a recipe, imagine it, re-imagine it better with mental adjustments of ingredients and cooking techniques, mentally select a perfect pairing wine, then go shopping and come home to execute a wonderful meal…or not. A few of my best dishes took 3 or 4 improvements before they taste as good or better than I originally imagined.
I have been hurt in my past, who hasn’t? Like Bourdain, I spent many years being cynical. Cynicism protects the cynic from hurt, but it also drives away the people you don’t need to protect yourself from. Self inflicted unnecessary and tiring armor.
I have dropped the armor. Well, I may still have a shield handy, but I’m not wearing a full suit anymore. I can get hurt, but I can also join with happier, sweeter, better, and more interesting people. My life is much improved, and continues to improve. Perfect? No, but I think the process of striving for the rarely and transitorily attainable is worth the effort.
Anyway, I am going to be applying for a new job. A winery is looking for someone to get the message of what they do out in a non-traditional way, using social network sites and blog/vblog entries.
I am a native of the area they want described. I worked for a winery for eight years. I know wine, and food, and share what I know with anyone who will listen out of love now. I love Sonoma County, my home, where I grew up. I sold, drank and cooked with wine made from grapes grown by this winery in their own vineyard ranch. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Exhibitor Magazine awarded me the Expert Exhibitor Award three consecutive years for tradeshow marketing of Sonoma County wine. As you are reading this, you know I blog, and am on myspace. I also have facebook and twitter accounts. I post on a number of forums.
I may actually be as qualified, as perfect for the job I will be seeking, as Bourdain is for his. I really can’t imagine anyone else being as good at what I am uniquely able to do, and get the job or not, this is exciting.