Refreshed from yoga, a swim and a sunset I am ready to take this on again, and this my friends is dedication as I have written and lost this upcoming segment TWICE as the Universe swept away my first two attempts. Perhaps I better stick with the tangible like eating and cooking you may say but as we all know computers are where it’s at so I am joining in…if it does not do my head in first.
As I was saying…upon arrival in Phoenix I landed a job working for Roy Yamaguchi who is another acclaimed pioneer for supporting local farms and dedicated to using food straight form the earth. I worked in several locations from line cook up to pastry chef and sous chef. Then sometime down the road the company was sold to the Outback steakhouse umbrella company and things began to change, you know the corporate thing and all. We still had some creative control in the 30+ locations but they began to mandate the use of large purveyor companies and the bottom line began to seem more important than the food. There is still personality in the individual locations as well as amazing food but it was just not the same.

I switched spectrum’s completely and went to work in a restaurant name Binkley’s in Cave Creek Arizona. Now truly “mom and pop” is a gross under representation of the beauty that is produced out of this place by husband a wife team Kevin and Amy Binkley formerly of The French Laundry and Inn at Little Washington


                                              Photos courtesy of Binkley’s Restaurant

 It was a gastroextravaganza (yes I just made this word up) of the freshest most high quality local foodstuffs they could put their hands on were pouring in and out of the kitchen with gusto. This was a jackpot for me in many ways but eventually the extremely long hours and not so sizable pay (kinda workin for love thing as you can imagine) took it’s toll and my physical and emotional well being won out over amazing food and creative genius. I thus left the restaurant scene behind for a higher paying and a bit more flexible, albeit less inspiring, go in the catering and private chef world. Turned out to be a good move for many reasons, money, high profile clientele, flexibility…but creative and exciting? No so much…and I have since deeply missed the culinary expression and playfulness of my early career but this choice afforded me not only a larger bank account but more importantly the freedom that one does not have in a restaurant career…ultimately at that point freedom was what I was after, and I got what I asked for, as we often do.