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.
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)
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).