FOODCHAIN: Keeping It Real
Thursday, April 21, 2005
CHAIN, CHAIN CHANGE… I’m a changed man. Well, on my way to being a changed man. When you’ve been as screwed up as I am for as long as I have, change don’t come so easy. Reminds me of a line from a Sam Cooke song: “It’s been a lo-ong time comin’ but I know-ooo-oh, change gon’ come, oh yes it will.”
Sam knew the deal. A good song can do so many things to help you hang onto yourself when you feel yourself falling apart. And to change, you’ve got to fall apart, clean up all the rusted old pieces or replace them, then put yourself back together all bright and shiny new. That’s what me and my Sweet Thing did last weekend up in the Santa Cruz Mountains at a life-changing group seminar aimed at helping couples reach a more mature form of loving.
I was overwhelmed at how much I was doing that was creating a barrier between me and my beloved—and vice versa. Under the caretaking of an incredible woman, Alexis Johnson, who, along with Judith Sarah Schmidt created a psychological program called Center for Intentional Living, we discovered deep-seated mechanisms we were using that shaped our behavior. Man, was it enlightening. I shed more tears and laughs and deep feelings this past weekend than I ever had before. The results have started us on a long path deeper into our individual beings, with the goal of correcting the many self-destructive patterns we keep repeating. Intentionalliving.com will give you a bit of insight into their style.
TWO BIG NIGHTS… Had a big splurge last night at Passionfish. Couldn’t think of a better place to have it either, sitting down with Ted Walter, sipping a completely unique white wine from the Veneto (Italy) and eating three of the best dishes I’ve had—the kind of finger-wiping dishes that leave you feeling so fulfilled. I believe the time has come for Ted to allow his creativity more freedom. I strongly feel that his loyal following is longing for him to lead them further into his gifted world of food and wine.
We also visited Alberto’s last week, for the first time in a while. The thing about Alberto is that he’s a real character, everybody knows that, and he can sometimes be a little difficult (most creative people are), but he’s the only one around doing the things he’s doing, and there is no other food like it in these parts. The night we were there, there was a group of six musicians from San Francisco—older pros who had been around, touring and playing in situations for years. This one trumpeter, whose name I didn’t get, told us a story about playing with Frank Sinatra (Alberto’s pal) at a few dates. He told us about what a pro Sinatra was, how he’d be there at the rehearsals—unlike some of the other top names who sent their musical directors—and how he’d hear the slightest errors in the music, even when the rest of the group couldn’t. He told us also about how Frank treated them all with total respect and always made them feel special. Well, this old trumpeter, who had the indented lip to prove it, always makes it a point to hit Alberto’s whenever he’s in the area. That’s what I’m talking about.
THINGS TO DO… Right now, through Sunday, April 24, Stokes Restaurant & Bar in Monterey is doing a Sicilian Feast, featuring regional specialties prepared with Monterey County’s finest ingredients. The dinner is offered nightly beginning at 5:30pm. Guests may select wines from the wine list or go with the featured wines of the region. Cost is $32 per person or $49 with wine (that rhymes), not inclusive. Info@stokesrestaurant.com or call 373-1110…this Saturday, April 23, Taste of Monterey is having its People’s Choice—Reserve Pinot Noirs competition. $25 or $20 for wine club members gets you in to blind taste and judge the top-end Pinots from Monterey County. Of course this is the brainchild of the one, the only Ken “I’m not a Baldwin brother” Rauh, Director of Taste of Monterey. Call him at 646-5446 or 751-1980…Also on April 23, the Tolosa Wine Dinner at Fifi’s. Come in any time throughout the evening and order the special wine dinner created by Chef German Perez, matched with Ed Filice’s wonderful Tolosa Wines. Call 372-5325 for info and rezzies…April 28 is the second anniversary of Max’s Grill in PG—go Max. Kate McFadden will be helping out with front of the house duties on Thursdays through Saturdays to bring a blast of energy to the dining room. Get in there and check out Max’s new menu and congratulate him for two strong years. Maxgrill.com or 375-7997…April 27 is the CRA Golf Tournament. Cindy Walter might still get you in, email@example.com or 596-2869…gotta check out Wild Goose Café & Art Gallery in Carmel Valley Village, next to the Running Iron. Great feel—the local scene comes through “The Goose”—plus wonderful homemade goodies using great ingredients. Beautiful Italian panini sandwiches, great scones and other coffee companions. Roxana Robles-Gorriti and husband Martin run the joint and have a thing or two to say too, so go there…April 28 sees Thomas Keohorst joining host Rich Pepe at Salud! Cooking and Lifestyle classroom at Whole Foods Market for an Italian Wine Tasting from 7 to 8:30pm. It’s the latest in the “Pep Talk” series. 333-1600 or wholefoodsmarket.com or the customer service desk…Monterey Wine Festival, April 28-30, montereywine.com, 888-814-WINE…Pinnacles Wine Festival, April 30, innatthepinnacles.com, 678-2400…May 1, Pavona Wines Greek Easter Celebration, 646-1506 or Richard@pavonawines.com…May 7 Paraiso Vineyards Air Show, 678-0300 or paraisovineyards.com…Steinbeck Country Wineries Spring Fest, May 21, 678-0300 or firstname.lastname@example.org…Good luck.