Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finance vs. Entrepreneurship and Eats 1/28/2012

Thinking on paper. First semester done. What now? I don't know what I'm doing. I miss the kitchen. Though I was able to do some cooking over break.

Every now and then I feel like being Thomas Keller again. But I just don't know if the chef lifestyle is for me. Long shifts, low pay, physically exhausting work. I think it would be more fun to be a straight restauranteur, designing each aspect of a restaurant for success.

Anthony Bourdain honestly has the best job in the world (here he is pictured with Eric Ripert from when I saw him a few months ago in Philly) but close behind him is the restauranteur Stephen Starr. It must be so fun to create a restaurant like Dandelion (2 photos down), or Morimoto, or Buddakan. Starr's restaurant empire is essentially Disney World for diners. The decor in each of his restaurants is a frikin foodie's wet dream. How cool would it be creating those concepts?

This brings me to my next point. As I've mentioned before, I'm an undergrad at The Wharton School at Upenn. Wharton is as close as it gets to a Wall Street Farm Team. Something like 65% of Wharton's graduating class goes into finance making 70k a year with a 30k year-end bonus.

That's a hard opportunity to pass up. But obviously creating something of my own, (opening up my own restaurant would be one way to achieve this) would be a lot more fun. Getting Compare Food Pics up and running was a great time (although I recently let the server payments run out because I wasn't making any money and it would've cost me a lot of money to make the improvements necessary to monetize the site) and I'm currently working with a programmer on a UPenn Smartphone Application.   I'm also  taking the Code Year Challenge with Michael Bloomberg so I can learn JavaScript and not be completely dependent on someone else to implement my ideas.

At the same time I don't know if I'd be able to pass up the opportunity to work in finance. Time will tell. This isn't a very in-depth analysis of the implications of an entrepreneurial life versus that of the alternative, but this is all I got for now.

That said, here are some snapshots from the past month or so of my life.

Bourdain and Ripert in Philly

My friends took me out to Dandelion for my birthday on December 9th. We spent much more than we had planned, but it was a great time.

(Seared foie gras, over-easy egg, bacon)

(Cured Salmon, cucumber salad)

(steak and chips)

(Pumpkin-Pecan Pie)

This is from a trip to Morimoto with my grandparents. This is a sashimi platter.

(noodle soup from Morimoto)

(New Delhi Indian Buffet with my roommate)

(Sashimi Bento Box from Harusame in Ardmore)

(Pork Belly cured, rolled up and vacuum sealed)

(Pork Belly after being cooked sous vide at 155 for 36 hours and then deep fried)

(White chocolate graham cracker toffee)

(A young Paula Deen with her plate of Christmas hors' d oeuvres) 

 (View from NYC apartment)

In NYC I met up with my buddy Max Kramer of Master Chef Fame and we went to the sushi restaurant Kanoyama. We told the chef to give us the works. Omakase. Everything.

(house made tofu)

(eel in gelee)

Then we had a lot more sushi that I didn't take a picture of. For two of us the bill was $800. We crapped our frikin pants. We split the check.  Here's my individual bill without tip. Could've eaten at Per Se almost 1.5 times for that amount.

Afterwards we had some fun going out to clubs in NYC. Here we are at a doughnut shop trying to figure out how they make crullers. 

Went to the famous artichoke pizza in NYC with the fam. The artichoke pie is essentially pizza topped with a heaping helping of rich-creamy artichoke dip. Artery cloggingly delicious. 

(Beef tartare at La Gazetta in NYC)

(Sublime octopus from La Gazetta)

Bento Box from Gin Za in Ardmore.

(Beef in Spicy Korean Sauce from Pei Wei on City Line right outside of Bala Cynwyd)

Felt compelled to add this. My friend was one of the first people to ever order wine from the popular bar Blarney's at Upenn. 

(Baby Back Ribs from Sangkee in Wynnewood)

(Bacon Candy. Christmas Present from Mom. Absolutely disgusting. Haha. Played a few pranks on people by asking them if they wanted a mint).


Vivien said...

Interesting life
400 usd meal?! Wow
Hope you will do what you love after done school

Minjenah said...

Figuring out to do with the rest of your life is not easy. But if you go on a path and decide to change it, you can. So do not worry about making the right decision. You will find your bliss.
And that omakase looked AMAZING

Tags said...

Good thing you didn't go to Masa or you would've surely bronzed your shorts.

Once again, the only thing that exceeds our longing for another of your posts is the awesomeness of your latest post.

claudia said...

been awhile. just catching up. you're as awesome as i knew you'd be...

Fat Bastardo said...

OMFG! That's some good eatin!

Click Here For News That's Fat and Fair.

HannahB said...

Hi Nick! The last month of your life looks pretty darn interesting and entertaining. I'm jealous! That job you're looking into looks pretty great! (Judged by the pay) A 300$ meal though?! Must have been some good eatin'! I wish you luck in your job hunting! Great blogs with great pictures Nick, keep it up!

Carol Patton said...

Hello Nick, all those pictures of foods making me hungry! I think the money is worth for all those foods. I also have a lot of interest in foods but, mostly desserts. I have tried macaroons and lemon meringue pie. I need to ask that if you have every tried Korean food? I am looking forward to reading more of your blog post!

Carolina said...

Dear Nick,
Your blog has been giving me so many ideas of what to do with my own blog. I like how you post about your life and the food you eat on a daily basis. I think the blog could do so much, but I feel like if you got a better camera to take pictures of your food, it would be even better. The food already looks delicious enough but with a better camera it would be even better.