Not Chef’s Day Off (or, a Tale of Two Chefs)

Technically, yesterday – being Monday – was supposed to be a short, sweet post for Chef’s Day Off. As it turns out, yesterday was anything but that for me. I will spare you the boring details of my all-too-full day and skip to a tale of two chefs.

First, note that chefs are chefs, no matter where in the world they are. They work long days then proceed to celebrate (or salvage) these days with equally intense debauchery. A dear friend of mine is a chef in the Philippines, which puts him pretty much exactly on the opposite side of the planet and exactly 12 hours time difference from me, which makes for a perfect friendship when you keep strange late hours. The catch is that one of us is just getting started for the day while the other is just getting rolling for the night… that’s actually the fun part, and where my day began yesterday.

I was in my office in between projects, texting with my friend before getting on with my crazy day. He was finishing dinner at his restaurant with a group of friends, including a Kiwi wine collector from Los Angeles (nobody’s ever from just one place in this business). They had been enjoying what seemed like some pretty amazing wines including a Tamesis Pritchard Hill Cab  (from an exclusive area of Napa Valley) and Mollydooker’s “Carnival of Love” Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia, two wines I would have loved to try – especially with that crew. When I said as much (by text) my phone rang and I ended up talking with the enthusiastic Kiwi wine collector about everything from great Shiraz to various cult Pinots from California, to a point where I was craving a big fruity, spicy red to replace my morning coffee! If I can’t get back to the Philippines any sooner to enjoy one of those wine dinners, I will at least need to make a trip to LA sometime in the near future.

Fourteen hours later (yes, that’s how long my work day was!), it was my turn. Our event for the Philoctetes Foundation (mentioned in the previous post) was a great success so we celebrated with a few rounds of our new favorite house cocktail, “The Swedish Chef”, a Nils and Dave special – carbonated caraway vodka, clarified apple juice, cucumber juice, Dolan vermouth and elderflower liqueur. After a couple of these at the end of a long day, I could barely keep my eyes open. My friend, on the other hand was just finishing a morning swim and sent a “sweet dreams” from the other side of the world.

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