ced, matt, will and michael at novella's dinner, june 2009

The Real Work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
--Wendell Berry

:: :: ::

in this moment, i have to look for beauty in bits and pieces, like this poem, or the smiles on the faces of my cooks today, a day i've both dreaded and anticipated for some time now.

for months, i have carried on my shoulders the weight of a struggling restaurant. today, we let go. today, we announced that eccolo will close on august 22nd, after five final nights of special dinners where we'll cook the foods we love to eat, play the music we love to listen to, and invite our closest friends and neighbors to celebrate the midsummer bounty with us.

the past five years have simultaneously been the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. i've made a lot of terrible mistakes, but i've tried to avoid repeating them. i've also had some fantastic successes--experiences so incredible my feeble imagination could have never dreamt them up. i've grown as a cook, but more importantly as a human being. to those i've hurt or offended, i apologize from the bottom of my heart. and to those i've helped or inspired, i hope you will pass it on to someone else.

i don't know what i'll do exactly. i'm going to help out at chez panisse for a little while, do some canning projects with local farms and restaurants, teach some workshops with novella, and write. full-time restaurant work is not how i'm meant to spend my life--that much i know. unfortunately, i don't know how i am meant to spend it. i do know that there will always be good food, good friends, and beautiful words in my life, though.

i face my real journey now--my real work lies ahead.