More and more often I find myself fumbling when asked innocent questions such as "Where do you work?" or "What do you do for a living?" Once upon a time, I could have answered with a restaurant name, or perhaps a job title, but those days are now a distant memory.
There are no longer any short answers to such questions.
In this world of labels and compartmentalization, I struggle with this fact that the way I spend my days may seem disorganized and uncategorizable, but the truth of the matter is that I love pretty much every moment of it. And the great thing is I'm not alone—I'm inspired daily as I witness my Bay Area friends, colleagues, and cohorts shift and squirm within the boundaries of what it means to work in the food business. Constantly contorting ourselves and our projects as we look for ways to make a living nourishing and inspiring, we are all simultaneously confounded in our search for the words to describe what the heck we're doing.
Last weekend I made my way up to Scribe Winery in Sonoma for an event dreamt up by my friends Sam White, vintner Andrew Mariani, and the folks at 18 Reasons, a San Francisco-based non-profit that puts on events that challenge and examine the line separating food and art. When friends asked me about the event at Scribe and why I was attending, I wasn't ever really sure how to reply. 18 Reasons named the event "A Midsummer Food and Art Curiosity" Between this whimsical name and my knowledge of Sam, a maitre d' at the Chez Panisse Café and a founder of OPEN Restaurant, I knew that strangely wonderful things were going to happen.