Last week was one of those weeks thats beats the shit out of you....but are just a blast.
Liz and I started the week on Monday in Chicago doing a demo for the housewares show and finished it yesterday having a party at our house for about 30 people. The housewares show was a hoot. We followed up Paula Dean which is no easy task. Fortunately this time around she didn't lose her britches during her demo ala SOBE!! The thing I love about Paula is how she is not afraid to make fun of herself...at the housewares show she started out her demo by saying "If I would've known losing my britches would've got me on Oprah I would've done it years ago!"
The party at our house was to finish up the shots for the family meal section of the cookbook. We basically had over a mess of family and friends and I cooked a couple recipes from the book and then we had a little feast while Donna took pictures of the whole thing. It was a blast...my family is quite entertaining..to put it mildly!!!!
In between I did normal restaurant stuff, two "thank you" dinners for the Cavs, finished shooting some other parts for the cookbook, met about a couple restaurant deals and had a producer in to work on a new FNTV show. The one thing I havent done is go shopping for the lovely Liz for her birthday today (she's 37...again!!!)
I'm going to take it easy today..check out a new project..do some shopping..and then chill with the love of my life for some dinner tonight.
Liz and I had a great trip to Chicago last weekend. I was there for Calphalon doing some cooking for them for the housewares show and Liz came to help pair up wines for the dinners. I have to admit I really love doing these events with Liz, her wine knowledge and enthusiasm just add so much to the dinners...plus she's a lot cuter than me..lol. The dinners seemed to be a great success, as did the launch of Calphalons new Unison line. It is really some great new technology that mixes nonstick release with a tryply stainless performance.
While in Chicago we had two great meals...One at Paul Kahans new restaurant Publican and the other at Avec which is also owned by Paul and Donnie and the kitchen is run by Koren Grieveson. The meals and experiences at both places were off the hook. I have so much respect for what these guys do and how they see a concept through. They not only serve great food (i already warned Paul i was stealing his pork rind recipe!!!..lol) with great service but have also been able to change the way people eat in Chicago. This is no easy feat and they deserve all the props they get.
I also found out on Monday that I am a finalist for the James Beard Award Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region. I am so excited to make the final list again and extremely honored to be part of this list of great chefs. (You can check out the whole list at jamesbeard.org) Whenever awards come up I realize how lucky I have truly been in my career to do what I love to do and pick up some awards along the way. We are extremely proud of our restaurants and the effect they have had on the dining scene and community both here in Cleveland and in Detroit. We have gotten to watch neighborhoods grow around and I have been able to watch some of our young employees grow into chefs, managers and restaurateurs (Chatty, Frankie, Frankie, Powder, Jeff, Nolan, Yody, Jon, Jon, Brian, Tony, KP,Mary, Chris, James, Katie, Andy, Cory, Nate, Andy Randy, Sammy.....). None of this would be possible without all of them and I love and cherish them for all their hard work and dedication to Me, Liz and Doug. God I love this business..off to work..ms
What in life is greater than family and friends? Absolutely nothing! As I go through all these crazy workdays and weeks it makes me realize more than ever that the only thing that makes it possible are those closest to me. I am so lucky to have an incredible family that has always been supportive, a wife that always seems to understand and friends that have been there for me through the good and the bad.
I love you all...thank you, Michaelhangin out at moms