Tuesday, December 27, 2011


wired and tired.

you know, that feeling when you lie down in bed....you know that you are tired....but for some reason the lights that play against the walls from cars and streetlights seem super duper fascinating that you can't sleep. thoughts are stopping, starting, and running all over the place. there is a replay of the past few hours, the day, the week, and more....but not in any kind of sequential chronological order.

i decided to get back up and write a bit.....perhaps as a way to wind down from the day......knowing that work will begin in a few hours.

despite random thoughts starting, stopping, and running all over the place.....methinks i should just write about change..... specifically, how i have changed.

i noticed this a few months ago. i noticed a change but i don't think i could clearly verbalize it. i remember mentioning this to richie in passing....and when he asked for a bit more insight....i could only say that i don't see things the way that i used to. for example, i don't see the farmers market the same.

at the time, that was all i was able to say.

yet it is different now.

i don't see the farmers market.

i see farmers. i see bakers. i see people that make confections. i see butchers. i see cheese mongers. i see cooks. i see families. i see security guards. i see market staff. i see people who likely have to be up at or before 5am....when it is still dark....to make preparations for the market, set up, and likely have been at work for hours before the first customer visits a stand.

i've also discussed this change in me with a couple of friends of mine....and with each discussion, i think i was able to get closer to identifying the change....and perhaps....just how significant the change is.

i think it became clear to me just how much i had changed recently when a couple of friends who knew me before "foodie hunter" came into existence saw me working a service or event.

one of these friends.....a particular friend who has been a cook for many years....and knew both richie and i separately....well before "foodie hunter" came into existence....came to visit the hapa stand one day when i was working service. for this particular service, i was chatting with clients about the source of the ingredients while garnishing bowls and running food. i'm pretty certain that this was the first time my friend...who knew me before "foodie hunter".... had seen me in this setting. while she was inside of the stand, we didn't chat for very long and unlike other friends who aren't in the industry, i wasn't worried that she'd be offended.

another friend who i have known since our university days had a bird's eye view of me working FOH at a food event that wasn't for hapa.

sometimes, events like these help place change....or exactly how much change....in context... because these are friends who knew me "before"....and seeing them within these environments provides a marker of just how different my perspective has become.

while i still do not consider myself industry, i know that i do not look at food, cooking, service, space, and people the same.

i notice that when i walk into a place for the first time, i gravitate...almost unconsciously....to sensing whether or not folks have a sense of pride in their place. basically, do they "own it". i don't mean own it as in actual paper deed ownership. i mean "own it"....as in do they give a shit....really....do they care....and if they care, what of themselves are they putting out there and what are they trying to say? i also notice that when i walk into a place, the veneer or glossy distance is no longer there. i feel like i am no longer walking into a "restaurant" but walking into someone's home....but a different kind of home....where i am able to taste different types of dishes, see how the FOH interact, perhaps see folks on the line, and watch the ebb and flow of service. intellectually, i know that these aspects were always present....like a clear interactive wall filled with encrypted code....visually present but not recognizable. the code not becoming recognizable until i was provided the cipher.

the cipher provided to me included a couple of things....my experiences with hapa and oddly enough....industry folks telling me stories. i would have thought that finding out that i was "foodie hunter" would have folks be silent around me.....but i'm not really finding that to be the case. i know that many bloggers are viewed as being akin to snakes in the grass so i'm always extremely surprised when someone decides to tell me about their experiences...especially when haven't asked them about it. to be clear, i don't find these stories unwelcome...i'm just rather surprised. in many ways, i am thankful as it has helped me see ....what was already there...what i just didn't realize was there....right in front of me.

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