(Part 1 of 3) Happy rainy AF Monday, #NYC
. This is a much #latergram
post in honor of my perpetual #MCM
, Chef Marc Forgione.
9 years & 1 day ago, I worked my final shift on a Friday night at Restaurant Marc Forgione fka Forge. (The “f” is for “forever.”) I was part of the Opening Staff from the summer of 2008. Even though it is one of my shortest tenures anywhere, this is the experience that still defines my service to New York and my life as a New Yorker.
Cut to: 6 years later/ 3 years ago. Time Out New York magazine launched a contest to “crown the city’s next great food writer.” So, being a man with an armory of Muji pens and no small ego, I entered the competition.
I lost to the eventual winner, truly talented and multifaceted writer, Lindsay Denninger. Which is not to imply it came down to an “Iron Scribe” her-vs-me battle. I lost to the 10 other finalists as well. I likely lost to the 1000 other entrants, just to make sure.
I did wonder if Time Out had vetted me, if they could tell my review was of a Chef and restaurant that I worked for. Or maybe it was just bad writing, possibly REALLY bad writing. Compared to the finalists’ published reviews, it was decidedly overwritten.
Prior to my first draft, I pulled out my copy of Jonathan Gold’s “Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles,” the ONE book any aspiring or employed critic of anything should read. Sad to say, literary osmosis does not happen in a weekend. I wrote what I like, with what modest gifts I had, and hoped someone would read it.
This is my one-and-done audition for the world of culinary journalism. It is not for the feint of art, but I have never not shot for the stars. I fail and I fall, I look down at a blank page and then get inspired by the sky.
What I have been lucky enough to enjoy is the fruits of the earth, cultivated and cooked with fire and plated with JOY by women and men who know what to do what such beauty and bounty. The stuff I write: wrap your sustainable fish in it and I’ll be THRILLED.