first, I want to share my thoughts on the evening as a whole and then express how proud I am of justin. the evening was my favorite dinner to date because it really put a few things into perspective for me. i require these hints of enlightenment quite often because these days it seems that all things I cherish in my life are being tested day in & day out. the economy, the presidential election & the simple fact of living on the gulf coast have stretched most people to their snapping point – leaving one to think “what’s next” but I constantly find my comfort in family, friends & peers who continue to rise above the “flood lines” to support me & tenacity.
please do not get me wrong – im not saying justin had no moves before I met him – the guy worked with some of the best in the country, both owning a james beard award for their region. he worked on both coasts (east coast & the 3rd coast) with dan barber (blue hill @ stone barns) who not only wrote the book on farm to table dining but continues to write new chapters on sustainable farming & agriculture for us all to learn from. he also had the pleasure of working in nola at restaurant august with john besh & now has the luxury of absorbing all the knowledge that kramer can give. my personal philosophy is that if a cook locks up his moves and doesn’t share them he is only hurting himself as well as his whole staff (front & back) & is only doing 1/8 of his job. every great or even good leader must also be able to teach and we all know that but a cook or chef’s (call it what you want) job is not only to teach but continue to learn on a daily basis, always asking questions and exercising new ideas.
i started the supper club to for a few different reasons but the most important one to me was to raise awareness of the gastronomic talent that texas and the gulf coast offers and to provide a platform or forum for houston cooks try new things and to discuss them in detail whether they work out or turnout to be a complete failure. thats how you grow as a whole & my rational is what’s good for the city’s dining culture is good for all of us.
the moment I realized that I was witnessing exactly what I wanted to achieve was when I was thanking our guests for joining us for the dinner and I saw jj & jb in the corner of my eye. i realized that just between the 3 of us how much we had taught each other & how much we all had grown as a whole per our time together. that’s what it is all about!
the ability to teach is a very important virtue to obtain but the concept of constantly learning ironically must be taught and I learned this important lesson from my peers & for that I thank them.