Yes, He’s Still Here

Wow. It’s been just under two months since I promised a new beginning. So much has changed.

I warned you that my personal life would still play a role in this blog, and it certainly has played a major role in my procrastination in updating. In the last two months, my mother passed away after a long illness, my father sported with death for a couple of weeks, my wife and I relocated and my daughter also moved across town in upstate New York, a couple of hundred miles from where we live. I’ve also been working at the restaurant every weekend for about 36 hours in three days and trying to maintain my other job at

It’s been exhausting. But,in some ways, it’s been a good exhausting. The work with Sheepshead Bites is both frustrating and rewarding; helping build my community has always been important to me. Convincing members of the community that they need to support us financially, well that’s another story.

Dealing with a dying mother, sick father and the various inter-dynamics of 3 other brothers; well I don’t think I need to go into details here. Those are the bad exhausting days.

I can’t believe how much I love working at the restaurant. I find the work both strangely fulfilling and surprisingly grueling. I’ve never had blisters on my hands from chopping meat before! All my misconceptions about the glamour of cooking have been taken from me, replaced with the reality of the daily grind, but frankly, its still great. I know we make the same core dishes day-in and day-out, but everyday there’s a creative challenge in preparing the food to Chef Matt’s demanding standards. Most times, I think I succeed. Sometimes, I fail miserably, but I’m learning. Hopefully, I succeed more often than I fail and I continue to learn from my mistakes. I can’t say I’ve made a bad dish yet, but cooking for a restaurant and cooking for competition or home consumption, really are three totally different games.

The restaurant continues to grow as I strive to be earn the respect and continued faith of the owners and management team. They’ve taken a huge gamble with this old fart and I pray that I won’t let them down.

Talk to you soon


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2 Responses to Yes, He’s Still Here

  1. nibblemethis says:

    I hate to hear about your mother's passing and your father's bouts with illness. It sometimes seems like life throws one thing after another.

    Glad to hear that the restaurant deal is invigorating you, that rocks having a job like that.

  2. Peggy Stiles says:

    So glad you are keeping your wits about you and working thru the hard times. I can relate very well.
    My job is grueling too but I relish the structure it brings to my life and I also appreciate the paycheck, as minimal as it is. We all have to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that is the recipe of life. You just have to find the right balance of ingredients – and not allow one to overpower the other. Just give it some thyme…..
    I wish you and your family the best and hope you can find strength and inspiration in family, friends and good works. After all is said and done, that is all we really have left if we are lucky.

    All the best and thankyou for your wonderful website. I cooked chicken wings with your white BBQ sauce tonight. EXCELLENT! Love it! Thank you.

    Peg in Lee's Summit, Missouri

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