Today I had a very important conversation with Benjamin Button. Because he has the fortunate or unfortunate hand of being raised in this mad culinary environment, any woman he seriously dates will most assuredly have to spend time sitting at the feet of Pinx. If she is fearless enough to take the challenge though, she will have the rare opportunity to learn some real skillz. Let me explain.
Yesterday we celebrated Pinx coming out party…her birthday. Because you never ask a woman her age, we will not discuss the numbers. What I will tell you is that she wanted to be alone with her family: me, Benjamin Button, and the government twins.. So we went to our favorite steak house. I will say that they once more did not fail to impress. We tried a new dish and we were so smitten with this side that we had to run back to the lab to try it out.
Fast forward to today…the actual birthday for the star of this blog — because she is somewhat shy, we refer to her in veiled terms, but never doubt that she is Wonder Woman, Chaka Khan, Celia Cruz, and Maya Angelou at the same time — and we had a delightful meal at home. Before you all jump up in arms, we spent all weekend eating out and she received jewelry yesterday before dinner and two bouquets today. Now back to the kitchen…so Super Pinx was in the kitchen working on some new dishes. The dishes are part of the HOLIDAY COLLECTION! SCORE!!!!!
Tonight we enjoyed a new twist on her cranberry sauce (vanilla, lemon juice, orange zest, and port), mac and cheese ( have you ever considered adding mustard and apple wood smoked bacon to the mix), and the new dish the sweet potato casserole. I will tell you that this little diddy was the truth! The meal was so good I am almost upset that we won’t be having the customary feast at the
house this year. We are bringing dishes with us wherever we crash this
is short…eat something memorable.
Thanksgiving is coming! We here at Pinx (the brain trust) are in genuine terror of this year. Now don’t get me wrong, we absolutely love to cook, yes I dabble in the kitchen as well. If you are doubting, that means you have enjoyed my candied yams. So sad for you. We love to entertain, why else would be in this business? So over the past 2 years we have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our home — largely to be certain that everyone from our church would have a place to go and be well fed on that day. We have made many sumptuous dishes: Citrus Brine Turkey (the moistest most succulent turkey ever), Coffee Brine Chateaubriand, Candied Yams, Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest, Roasted Turkey, Fried Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Mustard Macaroni and Cheese, Brown Sugar Glazed Lamb Chops, the Honey Rolls (dubbed at one of these feasts as the crack rolls), and the like. I have to stop here because I find that the more I talk about or watch food, the hungrier I get. In the interest of my waistline, I shall exercise some
So as you can imagine, those that have frequented our abode over the past two years, are already putting in their requests. We have been hearing “so what are you doing this year”, or “I remember coming to your house last year…I had a very good time”. I promised Pinx last year we wouldn’t host it at the house this year and that was before we started our business endeavor. Why you ask? Only because the Thanksgiving Dinner takes so much work. It is a full production. Is there any wonder why people do it only once a year? So this year, we will be like the masses and we will be house hopping. We are afraid that all those that found sanctuary here may not have new places this year. But then again, someone will do it right? Wherever we go we will be bringing with us dishes though. Can’t disappoint…but because we don’t really do the whole house hopping thing, we don’t know what to bring. So….what should we bring? What is the socially acceptable dish to bring? As you can imagine, we are doing what we do when we don’t know: research and watch Iron Chef. So please do not hesitate to extend your thoughts, we’d love to hear them.
Life is short...eat something memorable.
It is a small wonder that we are making this happen and that we have been as successful as we have been to this point. Why do I say this? Because Pinx cooks totally by the force! Tonight is the big night that we are preparing for the Celebrity Golf Tournament. We have Sarge here — she hates that I blog by the way. I think she is afraid everyone will figure out that her name is … — and we also have Tweeta — if I told you why I call her that, you would immediately know who she was — in the trenches with Pinx making the waffles. Pinx has her “general” menu written down, but even as she walks the team through, the measurements she still has to add a little bit here and there. Which is so funny because Tweeta is precise in her measurements — she will use a knife to take the excess off her measurements. This will be interesting to say the least. If we are going to take this to that next level that Pinx wants (distribution) we will have to have the resident Jedi Master/Iron Chef standardize her recipes so we can mass produce these things.
While they are working in the kitchen I am doing double duty: blogging and logistics. I set up the convection oven, got it ready for a test run. I got all of our presentation materials (menus, tablecloths, plates, pictures and the likes) ready and packed in our coordinating hot pink trunk. I assembled the tent 100
square feet of labor. Mind you this is the second tent that I had to acquire (this one is white) because the previous one did not work with our “brand”. It must have been quite a site to see me putting this thing together in this plantation heat (it is unseasonably hot tonight near the corporate office). There was some random kid walking by with his grandfather who just waved and introduced himself and spoke to his Pa Pa in his native tongue. The least he could have done was to offer to help me. This wasn’t the circus. There is something about the heat that just makes you irritable.
Speaking of irritable, you all know Monk. If you don’t I recommend that you take a few moments to check out Ion Television. There is this former Police Detective Adrian Monk who has several neurological conditions, not the least of which is an EXTREME case of OCD…well our own Monk, though not officially diagnosed, is very OCDish. We are working with 4 double waffle makers. 3 of the four are the exact same model. Remember on the Electric Company when they would have that segment one of these things is not the same one of these things is not like the other? Well anyway, that was the case for her station and it affected her to the point she could not function. “I can’t work like this!” erupted from her and she had to change her station. Tweeta, Pinx, and I were all amused by this. Then when Tweeta noticed that the 2 irons had to be rotated different directions, Monk did her happy dance as if to say “see I’m not crazy”. Now don’t
get me wrong, I love Monk like the crazy sister that the family never talked about, its just that working with her is showing me a lot about her, me, Pink, and our collective relationships. For the record though…she is as crazy as a road lizard, but I love her.
As a matter of fact, let me take a moment to point out how her medical condition proves to be beneficial. We met earlier this week to discuss our individual task lists. She emailed our individual lists to each of us. She checked on each of us to make certain that we actually completed our tasks (mine were all done on time, thank you very much). I refused to have Sarge working me over for not doing my job. Tonight she produced a checklist akin to a Ethan Hawke impossible mission. Literally it says the mission: to make 100 sweet potato pie waffles. There are due dates, action items associated with each member of Team Pinx, and
the part that is most touching, the uniform descriptions. Did I mention hat the checklist is on a Pinx watermark?
If there was ever a team of individuals that were needed to start a business of this type it would be the group we have. I hope they can work with us forever! So we are preparing the waffles deep into the night and soon we will be heading to this celebrity golf tourney. We’ll let you know all about it after we are done. Pinx and I will be joined by Logistics Prime, Monk and Benjamin Button (if I let on who he was I am certain he would try to do bodily harm to me in my sleep).
Life is short…eat something memorable.
all of our friends and allies are getting paranoid when they come over, well
Monk is anyway. Fear based on the blog. The good news is that the names are all changed to protect the innocent. So tonight we were meeting to work out the logistics for our Golf Tournament on Monday. We ironed out all the plans (what we were wearing, how we are laying out the booth, what equipment we will be using) and how we will be working on that date. We also discussed our next strategic move (Bakesale Betty’s here we come). We sent out a menu for a job in November. Now we are discussing side hustles. Everybody we know has a side hustle right now…why? RECESSION! Necessity is the mother of invention after all. So we are working with our pals Monk and Logistics Prime (husband of the Educator). During the side hustle conversation we told Logistics Prime he really needs to consult.
Now for the record he is concerned that he doesn’t have years experience consulting and that crossing the lines to become a consultant might not be the move he would want to make. I told him that we are his greatest testimonial and test case. We were told by the ED of the festival that we produced and sold more in our maiden voyage than some vendors that had done with three years experience. We know and are sure that he will be an incredible Consultant in this industry. Jump in Prime! Self Determination is the greatest nation in the world. Of course, you will need lots of 5 Hour Energy.So that was the side hustle conversation.
The tournament and the jobs we are getting are providing us the impetus to print menus and get connected with political individuals. We are finding that we know connectors. People that know people who decide things. These are the people we want to call us and the ones we want to talk to about this collaboration.
So back to the tournament…there is something so pure about collaborating with like minded entrepreneurs. We got some great ideas, but we were able to finalize our plan and stay on task. We thought about chotchkies — I have contacts so if we were going that route we could actually enlist their aid — but the timeline wouldn’t allow us to do what we wanted to do. We came up with our design for the booth/tent itself. Through some discussion and joking we came to realize that the skins game is a true golf game. You will have to wait to see our artistic creation to understand this reference. We all came away with our action items and deliverables timeline. All hands on deck, we have another gig on its way! Pictures and updates to follow.
Now as for those ashy grapes…I don’t know if I will ever forget that saying as long as I live. First of all how do grapes get ashy? Do they forget to lotion after they come out of the shower? Do they turn to stone when they climb out of the pool? The whole reason why Monk was polishing the grapes is because they did not have the same luster as the other fruits. The reason why this came up tonight is because we were looking at a menu for a future gig and the whole fruit selection came up again. For some inexplicable reason Pink seems to believe that men, left to their own devices, will order and then eat fruit. I think not – I do think that I have a little more insight into the subject matter than she does on this one. This conversation brought about the grapes. Now you have the road map to the thought process. Stay tuned there will be more to come. If you want really good grapes go to Berkeley Bowl.
Life is short…eat something memorable.
Adrenaline! Most folks who are adrenaline junkies do the most insane things to feed it: jump out of airplanes, base jump, zip line, ride motorcycles and the like. What do we do? Cater large jobs.
There is something that is so satisfying on that level that cannot be equalled. I guess the closet thing I can compare it to would be that moment when you are on the line for a kick off to start a football game…you know when you are about to race down field at full tilt to run into another similarly challenged person
who has the same intent, knock somebody out. Or maybe its close to that moment when you are paint-balling when the game has been set off and you don’t know when that first round is going to be fired. In both cases you can hear the thump thump of your heart pounding in your own ears, but it is strangely
exhilarating. So when you see the masses are streaming toward you and the room has been set up, all you can do is hear your own breathing and your heart pounding as you wait for the event to start. That was what we saw.
250 people — a lot of hungry grown men asking for adult plates — making a run for the tables. I have to admit that Pink and Monk really put together a BEAUTIFUL spread. Now don’t forget that the night precious we had a lot of help from our good friends (Florence, the Educator, Fashion Degree, and Sunshine). That is
not including the crew. As a matter of fact we took turns till 5 in the morning fixing food. We hit the road, fought traffic — gotta love 880N — arrived at the location, and set up our spread. The people were met with a feast worth the price of admission.
This menu included some new creations — yes we spun some new creations — like the Caprese Salad Skewers (mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes, with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette drizzle), fruit kabobs aka fruit salad skewers, the crab and shrimp crostini, spinach dip, ham and gruyere puff pastry, bbq chicken
wings, and tequila lime chicken wings. Now the thing that was most surprising was how the firefighters were just mauling the fruit. I thought grown men are going to gravitate to the meat. Well these men apparently were more inclined to eat 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. The tequila lime chicken flew off the chaffing dishes faster than we expected. Who knew? Nobody on team Pinx that’s for sure.
The new team made a great impression on me. We were able to meet the demand with grace and aplomb. This was as Pink said the smoothest job we have had to date. And the rush we enjoyed was worth it!
Oh did I mention that we have jobs lined up throughout the rest of this month and the next. 11/11/11 we are doing an engagement dinner thing. We have a breakfast/brunch set for 11/5/11. We have a couple of large deals pending for
December. Good times. Pinx is making it happen…we haven’t forgotten about the
farmer’s market. That is on its way as well. Wow! Doing it big and feeding
is short…eat something memorable.
By now you have no doubt deduced that the activity in the kitchen inspires our
blogs. After all it was our love of people that prompted us to have so many
gatherings that included food. Come to think of it, our relationship started
with people and food: Green Curry Thai Food and Santana Row. But it was our love of people that has kept the house bustling, the kitchen jumping, and the park utilized these many years. So when the FOG rolls in the kitchen gets filled with laughter and love. So tonight the crew is laughing at Monk because she is
polishing each and every grape. Yes I said polishing. Though we washed all the fruit, it did not have the right glistening or reflective nature, so she is rubbing all the dull out of every morsel. She called the grapes
We also have our friend — who will from henceforth be referred to as the Educator —
who has some incredible affinity for mischief and washing dishes. She is at her
post at the sink, balling all the melons. Her sculpture is quite attractive. You
just have to be prepared for her questions, because you never know when you
might hear about POG and Swag. Interesting conversation…trust.
Then there is Florence. This too is an alias. She is a nurse with an interesting past.
Her story coming from the island to Florida to here is fascinating. Anywho, she is
another great help and friend to Pink. I think she will be joining us at the
golf tourney job.
We have Employee #4. We love her! She is such a hard worker with such a great
attitude! Because of the nature of this economy she has been available to help
us. And we have been blessed to be able to work with her, to help her and have
her help us. She has been pumping us for ideas for her friend's
Sunshine has worked with us before. She is the only person I have ever met who is UP —
like Pixar — all the time! She is a hard worker too. We actually share a unique
history in that we went to the same high school (many years apart of course, we
won’t say who proceeded whom because you never discuss a lady’s age). We even
had the same English teacher. Shout out to the Bulldogs.
We also have on tonight’s team the soft spoken Fashion Degree. By now, you must
have noticed that the names and identities of the volunteers are all changed to
protect the innocent. Anywho Fashion would have been on the team working with us
tomorrow but she is starting her new job at the largest HMO in the world
affectionately referred to as . And she is working with us tonight. You can’t
buy friendship like this.
I have got to admit this business is letting us get to know our friends even
better. I for one love it. So what is the pizza knife reference? Well we have
come to the conclusion that I really like kitchen gadgets. While preparing the
Puff Pastry, I was able to produce a pizza knife which made the cutting of the
dough easier. Yes there was rolling of the eyes and the requisite Oh my god
Craig. But when I look at it why do I like these things. I blame James Bond and
As a matter of fact, all the gadgets must be created to appeal to male
sensibilities. Why else would there be so many gadgets? The industry is also
male dominated. Think about it.
Sarge got many shout outs tonight. I guess someone is reading this. Hope you are
enjoying it. We want to share with you where we are and where we are going.
Without you, Pinx wouldn’t be. We are about keeping the common
Life is short…eat something memorable.
I have never in my life seen so much BREAD! I realize that bread is one of the most important building blocks in the food pyramid, at least it used to be when I was a kid. The kids — our lovely children, the girls AKA Thing 1 and Thing 2— have been bringing home some new interpretation of the pyramid that I cannot recognize. That brings me to another thought, why are all the rules that were right for us growing up are now wrong? If they were all so wrong, are we now figments of our own imaginations? Are we cartoons? And if all the truths that we learned are now not truths, are we legalized out of our own society? I’m sorry…the bread.
We have 360 rolls for the pulled pork sliders. There are 206 bites of crostini. We have another 5 baguettes yet to be prepared for the spinach dip. There are 20 sheets of puff pastry ready to be baked. If there was a bread intolerance like that lactose deal, this menu here would definitely mess with it. But what a way to go!
The shopping tonight was quite tiring. I did find the biggest grapes on the planet. They were beautiful and an investment. We have come to the conclusion that we have to find a food source that will let us acquire our food at a much friendlier cost point. We can’t continue to operate like this forever. After all it is a recession. Kaizen opportunity!
The team tonight was an interesting mix: very enjoyable company. I also enjoyed my tennis buddy’s cheffery and kaizen mind. As I was preparing the rolls he was looking for a better way. Sadly there was no way we could simplify the process. But we will be looking at every aspect of our processes so we can standardize and simplify our lives. We are doing this because we love it. We don’t want it to get so far out of control that we will be living to work. This thing is all about life work balance, and good food.
So we were working and coming up with some new menus. I think we ironed out the next waffle: brownie waffle. Sauces? What do you think about peanut butter or caramel? We were also brainstorming about drink offerings: Italian and or French sodas. MMMMMMM.
To end tonight, we will finish working out our logistical and personnel assignments. Its all about the execution, the quality of the work, and the food. It is always about the food.
Life is short…eat something memorable.
So I am investing in energy drinks. I have found that Red Bull and Monster give me a big boost (sugar high) but that they are expanding my waist line. 5 Hour energy gives me a moderate boost. Illy Coffee drinks do help me out. Our new manner of life is what has given me my new need for these boosts. We are both working our jobs — you know where fica is a line item on your pay stub. But this dream of culinary stuff is making me loose sleep!
The goal of self determination — the american dream — is for every person to have their 40 acres and a mule…or something like that. Basically it has become very apparent to me that along with the fact that there is no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, and no Easter Bunny, there are no repirations. Much like the indigenous peoples — once resolved to waiting for government handouts — who took their fates into their own hands with the creation and expansion of their many gaming establishments, we are looking to mine our own “Cache Creek”.
This Cache Creek is lined with chafing dishes, linens, plates, and serving stations. It has yielded some nice nuggets thus far. I mean we are sitting on the banks with our pans working to see what will shake out. So…this week, we have been to two restaurant supply locations and established accounts with both. We received some incredibly helpful advice at one: restaurants that fail do not have a plan or a following. You have no idea how food this made us feel. Not that we are ogres, revelling in the demise of others, but that the elements of our business plan were good moves. What are those elements? To develop the following prior to opening a brick and mortar establishment, by working the farmer’s market circuit and then the food truck thing. With the followings that will come from these two moves, how could the breakfast spot not do well. I am looking forward to Guy Fieri and triple D coming in to ask us how we do it. I can’t wait. That exposure will boost our customer traffic and exposure. Get ready Guy…you’re not ready!
So we have our biggest gig to date coming up on Wednesday. We have our crew retained. Monk is in the kitchen with Pinx now as we complete the first of 3 nights of preparation. On tap tonight, Lumpia. Lumpia is that popluar cultural food everybody likes. You know like sushi and thai food. Anywho the lumpia stuffing is being wrapped as we speak. There is a kitchen full of women talking and laughing. I obviously have relocated to the office where I can blog in relative peace. The beautiful thing of this job is it brings us closer to our friends. Love y’all.
Did I mention that we not only found our new Amusement Park (East Bay Restaurant Supply and Rocket Restaurant Supply), but we also toured, inspected, and engaged in talks with a commercial kitchen in Berkeley? Well we did. We are getting ever closer to the farmers market. Good things are coming! For me, right now…that thing is sleep.
Life is short…eat something memorable.
in a restaurant with the team — we just finished shopping for our job on
Wednesday– and we can’t help but look at the operations and find the kaizen opportunities. The bigger the menu, the more items the customers have to consider, the longer it takes to place an order, which slows down the turnover of the table tops. The second issue is that it slows the kitchen down, because there are too many items to prep, every order is a just in time situation. Kaizen: fewer items on the menu. Save that waste of waiting. Why is this even relevant to us? The long term goal is a breakfast spot “Breakfast at Pinx” in addition to the food truck, the farmer’s markets, and distribution of items via Internet orders. Because of this the Food Network is always on in the house, when we are not reading, cooking, eating, talking, or watching Criminal Minds (our guilty pleasure). Everywhere we go to eat we are thinking and measuring. Every location we are looking at the size of the restaurant, the decor, the menu, the service, the uniforms, the ambiance, and the like. It is amazing how the “American Dream” or self determination can be such a tangible force in your life. The true key is to maintain the life-work balance. We got into this — yes it was by accident — because of our love of food. And I seem to recall hearing or reading somewhere that if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life. Take this the right way now, but we are not trying to work anymore! It is time to walk into the office and declare, ” I have an announcement….ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! I QUIT!” Only because its time to do what I love. As a matter of fact, everyone should do what they love. If you elect me president, I promise that everyone will have a job doing what they were meant to do. A chicken in every pot…ask not what your kitchen can do for you, ask rather what you can do for your kitchen!
Anywho, we are putting together the logisitcs for our next job. It seems every job we learn something new. We plan a little better. Our flow is a little tighter. Is it possible to not run up against the clock? Does every event really have to look like an Iron Chef episode? Right now the answer appears to be a resounding yes. But the truth is this is the greatest adventure ever. This endeavor allows the folks in our “circle of trust” to do what they love to do…or depending on their medication, what they can’t help but do. So we are sitting at the dining room table, discussing the plans for Wednesday: slicing baguettes, rubbing pork butts, buying fruit, making rub, rolling lumpia, and plating. Did you know Berkeley Bowl is the best location for produce we have found. And it is budget friendly even to the recessed. WE LOVE that place!
So the plans for the next week: we have a breakfast on Saturday morning. We received an order for 3 meals for a shut in new mother. Wednesday is the 250 person back breaker in Richmond. The crew has been hired and the accessories acquired. We will finish our shopping on Saturday. The team is drafting the presentation for the dishes. Watch out world, we will be bringing the thunder and rolling like butter.
Life is short…eat something memorable.
and Walnut Salad
Coffee Brined Ribs
Salmon Marsala with Lemon Cream Sauce
Brown Sugar Glazed Lamb Chops
Red Velvet Trifle
Sweet Potato Pie Waffle a la mode
These were the items that our clients enjoyed yesterday. The pace was hectic. The presentation was captivating. The taste profile was delightful. The aroma was intoxicating. The feast was INCREDIBLE.
We had the opportunity to serve over 30 individuals — men and women whom we respect — and it was a situation where we wanted everything to be just right. We pulled out all the stops ~ Solidified Elements, Linens, the deserts, a robust crew. It was a dinner to remember.
So we decorated four tables. Sat them all and commenced with sharing Pinx culinary vision. As always the honey rolls (a staple for any dinner or lunch event we cater) were a hit. Dangerous, addicting and mmmmm were words that flowed from the lips after the rolls had entered them. The salads were all scarfed.
We moved to the entrees and they were as well received as the last day of the school year to graduating seniors. Some of the sides were such a departure from the “norm” that the recipes were requested. The salmon was neither pedestrian nor mundane.
We ended the journey with sweets that were as visually appealing as they were tasty. When the Executive Chef made her appearance, there was a roar of approval. Sadly I was sequestered in the kitchen and unable to see her response. I am certain it was worth the price of admission.
Then after the evening was done, and all the party was gone…we were left alone in the client’s home. To set the proper expectation, you must understand that the homeowner did mention to us several times (4 to be exact) that his kitchen had never looked like that: shall we say…extra utilized. Well we put team Pinx to work on the clean up under the direct supervision of Sarge aka Monk. After we had put in our labor and it was all said and done the homeowner told us the kitchen looked as good if not better than when we came. Way to go Sarge.
As one person said,” [we] made the common uncommon.” After all when you eat, though it is a necessary function of life, it should not be utilitarian, it should be satisfying and stimulating to every taste bud nestled in the mouth. Why shouldn’t the sweet and savory glands sing in harmony when a morsel melts on the tongue? Who says spicy and cool glands shouldn’t simultaneously resonate while relishing a bite? Carpe diem! No, rather carpe knife and fork! I’m sorry, I did it again didn’t I?
Life is short…eat something memorable.