08 November 2007

Cooking in New York City, Baby! and other stuff.

While listening to the beautiful, intelligent, well spoken and talented Ms Colleen Patrick Goudreau (and if you haven't done so yet, go out and subscribe to her podcast via iTunes now, please), I jumped on the L train headed to Manhattan. I disembarked from the train, and tried to locate the #@$#ing knife sharpening store that I had located on the Googles. As has been the case this entire day, the search was utterly fruitless, and it was only because of Ms Colleen's voice that I kept from swearing loudly and colourfully.

But that's neither here nor there. No, the purpose of the story is to update you all on my adventures in New York City. Anycow, I was wandering the streets, and finally made it into Sacred Chow, on Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village. It took me an hour to find it, because I kept going in the wrong direction. According to the pedometer on my phone, I walked around 20.2 km yesterday, and a goodly 15.1 km today. New Yorkers really walk everywhere, and it looks like I've become accustomed to this new way of thinking.

Just one more minor digression, and we'll be back to today's updates. Yesterday, we hung out at two vegan lesbians' house and cooked at the end of the day. What an outstanding way to spend spare time! We had so much fun hammering out a meagre 4 dishes (which I made in large quantity to make up for the lack of variety), chatting, laughing, joking, and all the requisite things that good friends can do together. The funny thing is that this was the fist time we'd met! I encourage all you vegans to get into each other's homes, and cook together. Sharing that meal makes the eating an event, rather than a regular daily occurrence, even if that meal is simple (like the one we shared last night). We made a lentil soup, a vegetable soup, some Unslaw (from the cookbook), and Indian roasted potatoes. There was also some rice, of course.

So I made it to Sacred Chow for my ... Wait for it ... Wait for it: Interview.

Which I thought would be for a server position (I would do anything to get my foot in the door of a vegan restaurant).

But the owner wants me cooking.

We chatted for the better part of an hour and forty five minutes. We chatted about food, cooking philosophy, my getting over my fear of omni subs and trying out new things (because they were yummy), my mother, my mother's influence on my cooking, my mother's legacy to me (the love of cooking). We talked about events that we could have at the restaurant, about work schedules on busy days and empty days, about ideas that I had for new recipes, new presentations, new ways of getting bodies into our seats.

We talked about his beautiful son (he's 5). About his son's cavities. About his lack of cavities. We talked about Steve, and how much Steve supports me in every way, every day, and makes me utterly revel in creation, rather than living each day. We spoke about having respect for all life, and reflecting one's daily journey in that respect.

We joked about the heat of the summer causing us to want to shed the clothes and go back to nature. We discussed Ethiopian food. We talked South Indian fusion food (which I love to make of course). I told him about cooking with my friends in Jersey, and how I plan on going back to do so on the 25th of this month. I told him my dreams, my hopes, my desires to be a vegan chef. He told me of his vision for the place, of his hopes, his dreams, his desires.

In short, rather than having an interview, I feel that I have made a friend. It is my sincerest desire that I get to work there as the fantabulous vegan chef that I have waiting to come out and play. That being said, I think it's even more important that I met such a compassionate, kind, loving soul, and made a connection with a like-minded being. It was such a revelation of what a job should be like.

After that, feeling fairly giddy on the wings of having met a new friend, I wandered off to seek yet another store that was supposed to be able to sharpen the knives. No luck again. I walked up a few blocks to yet ANOTHER place. Nothing. I'm going to have to try my luck tomorrow at the Chelsea Market, and hope for the best. This severely sucks.

It can't however, take away my elation at the thought of being a vegan chef! There would have been hundreds of people who apply to get in to work at Sacred Chow, but I got it! I feel like I've truly arrived in the city now, and that I have a life here.


  1. Congratulations, Dino!! That so fucking rocks. I loved Sacred Chow when I was there. :)

  2. Wow, congratulations!!! That is SO exciting. :-)

  3. That's awesome. I go to Sacred Chow all the time and love that place. I'm so glad you're enjoying life in this wonderful city.

  4. Dino! Awesomeness all around! Many hugs and much congrats!!

  5. oh wow, incredible. great job. will def try to pop by sacred chow more often. do you think you'll try to change anything on the menu? do you have any ideas already? can we expect to see more indian-inspired items?

    ps. totally unrelated but wanted to share a culinary discovery with you.. have you ever heard of crispy spinach? i tried this at an indian rest in DC called rasika. baby spinach leaves somehow made crispy (i am guessing deep fried- though never in my wildest dream has it occured to me to do that?!) and mixed with a tamarind/date chutney.

  6. Mindy: Damn, you found this fast. XD I love the people there. They're so laid back and have a positive vibe going down.

    Tamara: Thanks! I can't wait.

    Mark: If you see me, say hi. I love this city dearly.

    Lisa: Thanks! :)

    Demian: Crispy spinach? Are you sure it wasn't a different dark leafy green? I'll have to experiment.

  7. Gosh, Dino. What can I say? Thank you for your very, very sweet words! I'm really touched. Can't wait to check out your book; this is the first I've heard about it.

  8. Yay! Congrats on the new job Dino! :)

  9. Congrats on your new job! I just moved to NY recently too and am in Greenwich Village every day - hopefully I'll get the chance to meet you then next time I'm at Sacred Chow.