Tuesday, March 13, 2012

rich table kickstarter campaign

i wanted to take a quick break from work and before my next slew of meetings to write a bit about my recent pledge to the rich table kickstarter campaign. this campaign is towards funding the upcoming restaurant from sarah and evan rich in hayes valley. the name of their upcoming restaurant is, appropriately enough, rich table.

to be clear, i don't know sarah or evan rich personally. i also do not know anyone that cooks at coi. well, i had lunch one time with someone that cooked at coi (at the time) but i didn't tell him i was foodie hunter....and during the start of the lunch i had no idea he cooked at coi....so does that really count?

basically, i'm providing evidence that i don't know them personally.

anyway.....i'm anticipating folks asking the question...."if you don't know evan and sarah rich.....why did you pledge a contribution?"

many reasons.

i became aware of evan's food when i went to coi, where he was the chef de cuisine. it was one of the best meals i had that year. i still remember it. the more i become familiar with the industry the more i realize that there is a key group of people within any restaurant that makes a restaurant happen. while a chef owner may be visionary and innovative, if that same chef doesn't surround themself with talented people in multiple functions....the place...or the community that is the restaurant....will not be successful.

i attended one of sarah and evan's "chef's night off" popups at radius last year with some industry friends. i had a lovely time and it was rather mind boggling the amount of industry that showed up that night. the pics in this post were from that event. as an outsider and observer, i always find it fascinating to see who has support among their peers.

then, i have been working at the hapa stand when evan and other cooks from coi have visited to eat. again, as an observer, i saw a group of scruffy guys in ball caps (hey, they weren't working...so no need for them to look polished) that seemed really down to earth and sincerely looking forward to eating the ramen. at the time, i remember smiling to myself because here are these guys that make some of the most intellectually focused precise food that i ever had and they were really kick back.

then, there was inforum commonwealth club event where evan rich was on a panel.

folks that follow me on social media may be familiar with my tweets about it. you know....how i said that i was going to the panel to listen and not ogle. the name of the panel was something about "hot" chefs...and the marketing focused upon the not-cooking factor....which makes me cringe. i understand why they did that..but still..not my thing. i am also well aware that sarah rich has some significant credentials. there is no way that you can be successful in those kitchens without some major skills...including knife skills. there was no way in hell that i wanted there to be any confusion about my going to the panel to do anything but listen. speaking of knife skills, there was a picture floating around social media around the time of the event that was of sarah doing prep with their kid in a backpack carrier. it reminded me of my female friends....balancing careers and families....and how that picture seemed to embody a very common the theme among my friends of "you do what you need to do to get things done."

anyway, panel discussions are challenging. or they are from my perspective. there you are...sitting in front of a large group of people....people who are trying to get a sense of who you are....especially since there really wasn't a specialized topic for the panel. i gotta give evan props for really putting himself out there. i think he provided the audience with an honest and candid peek at who he is and his motivations behind his food. i think that is very hard to do. he talked about his transition from cooking in new york to cooking in san francisco, local ingredients, the decision process for how sarah and he decided to move to san francisco, and such. i remember during the Q+A section, i was texting with a couple of homies about the talk and the props i think he should get for putting himself out there. perhaps i was a wee bit to concentrated on texting at that time because i completely missed out on someone i actually knew that asked a question.

the reason why i've taken the time out to write these snippets here is because i am well aware that folks are more likely to consider pledging a contribution if they get a sense of who is behind the restaurant....as this is why i contributed. it is my hope that with recounting the experiences that led me to contribute...that perhaps you will consider as well. also, while i have contributed i'm not expecting anything in return. i declined any of the thank you gifts. for me, it is enough to be able to provide a teeny tiny measure of support and i look forward going into rich table anonymously and seeing what they decide to cook when they open.

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