Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A little inspiration

There is something so incredibly mysterious and gritty about this image. I instantly think it must belong in a hidden kitchen in Japan, accessed only after crossing several bridges and winding through narrow, shadowed alleys...no reason this image should conjure up scenes from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but why does my mind go there?
From the book Japanese Kitchen Knives

It seems almost redundant to say that I have learned a tremendous amount about myself this year. I've lived through a mini life crisis at 32, okay who am I kidding, it's been a major life crisis and it's not over yet.  Death happens, cancer happens, jobs come and go and life goes on. And so should I. Being unemployed and searching for several months can be a great thing- at least that is what I hear. I on the other hand make a horrible unemployed person, just ask my husband, my family or any of my very close friends. I'm the kind of person who likes having multiple jobs. "I relax in other ways," I tell people when they ask why I can't sit still. I love being busy.

Thank goodness for change and opportunity. Recently, as in four months ago, I reconnected with Jody Elsom of Elsom Cellars and the Vineyard Table. Jody is an amazing woman winemaker who specializes in small-batch, handcrafted red wines. Her specialties are cab and malbec. She recently got an 89 for her peppery, leathery 2007 malbec! It is completely deserved and I can only imagine what that feels like!

So, a while back, Jody informed me that the Vineyard Table has to be relocated by December because of the viaduct tunnel project, and would I want to take the project on. Not just finding the new space, but helping to re-build it. Oy! So, I am taking the plunge! I am taking over all the events at the Vineyard Table and Elsom Cellars Tasting room private events and the new Vineyard Table- where ever that will be. The hunt for the new space is proving to be an entire job in itself. (an entire post on that is in draft form to be posted soon). Let's just say, I'm learning the commercial broker game, the costs of this kind of project and am now able to tell you how much per square foot every Seattle neighborhood commercial space is going for.
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I recently went to Marjorie for dinner with a really good friend of mine, chef Kristen Shumacher and immediately fell in love with the use of kitchen space. It was open, homey and so inspiring. The cozy and unpretentious feel is exactly to how I would want the new Vineyard Table kitchen to be like. I also love the feel of the kitchen at the new Sitka and SpruceWalrus and the Carpenter, this number or even this sexy new place that I can't wait to visit:  the Book Bindery ... The exact opposite of granite counters and glitzy chandeliers.
Photo taken by Allecia of All-Consuming Blog
Obviously, there is a lot  that needs to happen between now and official.  Jody and I have decided to move the Vineyard Table into storage while we find the right "place." Wouldn't a garden be lovely? Should we move Eastside or Westside? oh the decisions. All I know is that life is short. Someone recently asked me what I really love in life? And I thought for a moment, and said, "I love giving people original experiences through good food." At the end of the day do I want to be exhausted because of excel spread sheets or because I made too many appetizers?

I want to be tired from this:

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards


Quay Po Cooks said...

I can relate to you not able to sit still because I am like that too.

Amy Martin said...

Images can really help shape our future. I like the way you've worked them into this post.

Ah, mid-life crisiseeez :)

How courageous of you to speak out about it Mel.

Sending you much love, and a gorgeous metaphorical flower basket.

xo Amy

Anonymous said...

I've had a lot of crazy luck in my life, and one of the best strikes I've had was when I lucked into being room mates with you! Coming home to five course meals after studying all day was pure blis. And the best part about your cooking- no matter if its pineapple cream cheese spaghetti or mushroom walnut ravioli- is the AMAZING LOVE and ENERGY that goes into it. I'd never experienced anything like it and it changed the way I look at food forever.

Delishhh said...

I was at Marjorie awhile back and enjoyed it. Here was my reivew: http://delishhh.com/?p=1647