Chickens and Lodi Plot
For the first time, last rainy Monday, I joined Jake to to see our plot of land in Lodi. Our first stop: the chicken coop and the twenty-seven chicken happily running and roosting. Our chicks are all grown-up and should be laying eggs within a couple months. Stay tuned.
At the garden, the favas, strawberries, carrots, radishes, herbs, and greens are on the menu or will be soon, though in limited supply. The many tomatoes, corn, blueberries, squashes, peppers, and beans are looking strong, but a ways out.
Tomorrow, May 25, Chris Brockway is here for our third winemaker dinner. Two of the wines are sold out. Unless you have them already, this is your last chance to sip Chris’s not-to-be-missed 2009 mourvedre and carignan. Here’s the menu that Jake paired with the wines.
See the full calendar of winemaker dinners here.
Partners with the Arts
We are thrilled to announce a year-round partnership with the Brava Theater at 24th and York. For the 2010-2011 season, we will run a pre-theater menu and, if you dine with us, you will receive a %15 discount on your Brava tickets. Details when tickets go on sale.
A Tragic Loss
On Saturday night, Ryan Sitko, our lead line cook, died in a motorcycle accident. He was 23 years-old. Ryan was driven and dedicated, talented and sweet. He worked the line with speed, grace, proficiency, and smiles. Among the joys of each evening service was seeing the cooks–board filled with tickets, ten burners at full tilt–laughing. From turned artichokes to composed plates, this is what Ryan loved to do.
On Sunday, when Ryan–reliable and punctual–did not show up to work and we could not reach him, we knew something was wrong. At noon, I called every emergency room in the city. When we found out the news on Monday, the staff gathered at my apartment to mourn, reminisce, and eat together.
Every day, I am reminded of the humanness of this business–More than the farms and ranches, tools and equipment, press and media, this business is about people. The fourteen–now thirteen–employees are not only the moving parts but also the bloodline of this restaurant. In Ryan’s death, in our shared ephemerality, we are reminded in the harshest way.
If there is something to walk away with–more so, to continue forward with–from Ryan’s death, please remember that when you enter a restaurant–any restaurant–that that place runs on the fullness of life, the fullness of these peoples’ lives: their training and passion, their burned forearms and smiles, their families and, more than I ever understood, their trust and love of the men and women to their left and right, this family that works, eats, bleeds, travels, celebrates, and grieves together.