Chef Shannon, or Tristan Gets Fat.

I know I haven’t posting anything in quite some time, and quite certainly there is a lot of stuff that has happened over the last 3 weeks!  Visitors, job stuff, weather, NY chaos… etc.  These will all be addressed over the next few days, but for this post I would really love to highlight one thing: Talent.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights have become quite crowded around our apartment.  Shannon has now been fully immersed into culinary school and we are reaping the benefits usually two-three servings at a time.  After every class she attends you can find us all huddled in the living room waiting for clock to strike 11, the door to swing open revealing a pastry toting chef, and for the feeding frenzy to commence.  Luckily Shan gets to bring home everything she makes in class from cookies to tarts, they make their way home in a huge cake shaped carrier, think pet carrier but cake shaped, and then they are quickly devoured.

Shannon obviously has a flair for the craft as everything she brings into our home appears professional, and tastes better than everything I have had in a professional kitchen.  It has been incredible watching the evolution of her food as she tinkers with crusts and is slowly given more and more artistic license.  It seems like every time she comes home she completely outdoes herself… again.  Also amazing is her growing excitement for the processes she is learning.  Everything is always better when someone is doing it simply because they love it, it shows in the quality.

Come on over Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and join in to the fun!  It’s funny watching everyone oooh and ahhh over the delicate fruit tarts.  Don’t be surprised if next time we see you we are twice the people you used to know.  Here are some of the exquisite delicacies we get to sample (Unfortunately the light is not great at 11 PM and leaves the pictures somewhat orangey)

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Uber Post…

I have been so distracted by everything that has been going on out here that by the time I get home every night I am too exhausted to even think about writing a blog post!  So here is a complete blast of information about what has been occurring around the world of the Wandering Willey!

Work is going great!  I am truly assuming a positive role as the manager of the joint.  We are evolving and creating new avenues towards success (including new locations!).  I am in love with the employees

Shannon visiting me at work. A common occurence.

of the place on both the crif side and the bar side.  Everyone seems to be completely involved and passionate about what they do, and not to mention extremely nice.  They have been very welcoming and made my life extremely easy as I dive in head first.  So far so good at Crif Dogs.

Shannon’s job seems to be going amazingly!  As it turns out she is phenomenal at being a cocktail server.  I know we never doubted her, but she really has taken everything on head first and proven to her new employers that there is no one better to be had.  She is ripping up the ranks, and I am continually astonished by her new found cocktail knowledge.  She is ruling the Manhattan cocktail scene.  Tanner, Dan, and I have already created a wonderful routine of planting ourselves at her bar… woe is me, life is hard when you have the two most distinguished and exclusive cocktail bars at your disposal at any time!

We have a DAN!  Shannon and I recently went out and got ourselves a Dan to live with.  After all of his recent travels Dan DeMartini has finally landed himself in open arms at 198 Ave A.

A taste of the new wine selection.

Bringing with him some rare delicacies from Italy and France, and an armful of stunning wines we have had no excuse to not celebrate his arrival.  The vintages we have been sipping at home lately have been not only great wines, but once in a lifetime wines.  Dan we love you.  We are so extremely happy that we have you to share new adventures with.

I had a particularly rough day at work the other day when I was working the counter at Crif.  It just so happened to be the New York Dance Parade, which turns out to be a procession of any and every kind of dancing that winds its way through the city and ends right in front of our restaurant!  In other words I had approximately 8 Trillion dancers filter in and out of the place for hot dogs all day long!  It was so extremely bust that we ultimately would run out of essentially everything at one point or another during the day.  On the other hand we did get to watch break dancers, stilt dancers, belly dancers, hip hop dancers, and many many more waltz their way through the city streets all day long.  One thing I am beginning to appreciate about the city is that there is ALWAYS something going on around where I am.  There is never any shortage of wonderment happening at any given time.

Shannon, Dan, and I have been focusing on eating well and in a somewhat un-traditional fashion lately.  We have solely been eating in small tapas style portions.  We come home every night and pop open a bottle of wine, and then lay out a spread of beautiful tastes which we pick at all night.  Dan actually was able to taste us on some amazing treats most recently: black truffles, white truffle creme, and a spreadable salami which was to die for.  I have included some photos of our typical spreads.  They are truly very simple, and they seem to be more satisfying than most meals I have eaten. 

Shan and Dan... Preparing for feasting.

There are a lot of new developments happening out here, and as soon as I am up to date with everything (hopefully tomorrow) I will make sure to let all of you fabulous people know exactly what is happening on this small little island we have decided to call home.  I hope everyone is doing very well out there.  I so very much miss New Mexico right now.  I miss the open air and all of the lovely people there.  I am sorry I can’t be with you for this extremely important weekend coming up!  Love you all!

Consistency!

So I have been up and down about what to put up on this blog, whether I should include only the PG rating or even the PG-13!  Shown below in drastic juxtaposition:

PG

PG-13

Should I write about simply what we have been up to or should I venture into the realm of the philosophical lessons we take away from all of this?  My answer to this has not by any means been consistent and directly correlates to my mood, and thus we have another more emotional sided post.  Maybe I can star them so that you can skim…

There is one reason we came to NY: Experience.  Yes Shannon was in school, and yes I had a job out here, but ultimately we both knew that the real goal of heading out into a new part of the world was to begin to open up our eyes to new experiences.  As soon as we arrived in the city we wasted no time hunting down adventures and seeing what we could possibly see!  It was amazing.  As time passes ultimately real life sets in and you have to focus on progress and actually being real people.  After awhile you remember that this isn’t a vacation and you are actually living in this new place.  Lately this realization has been a real struggle for me.  Suddenly with art school out the window and my job down the drain it was starkly apparent that we weren’t heading anywhere, but simply residing.  Shannon is phenomenal about talking my head out making this a problem, about showing me that we are still living in a new city full of opportunity, but I still feel so antsy!  What is it we are doing?  What can we be tackling right now?  I seem to always want to be asking this question.  Hopefully soon I can sort out this mess with student loans and begin my culinary training, but until that time I hope I can wrench from my head this frightful stagnant feeling.  I have only been here 4 months for heavens sake!

It is funny writing about these things in a blog post.  It really makes me step back from everything I thought I might include in here and say, “you know it really isn’t that bad when it might be scrutinized by other people.”  I sit down so frustrated, brooding over my long day, and what seems like constant misfortune, but at the end of the day I have a fridge of great food to whip up, netflix to watch, and a great bottle of wine to enjoy.  Sure I have now included Two Buck Chuck under the category “great” but I’m sure I can redefine my categories again in a few months!

We are going to continue to battle every curve ball thrown at us out here and turn it into a new opportunity.  Heck Shannon and I both work at world renown places, and we can pay our rent every month.  I have only seen about 1/100th of the area around me. and so we will go forth and adventure more!!!

Here is a picture of one of our new favorite places: BUA

BUA!

Crazy Sky. View from the fire escape.

A very new direction…

It is finally official and I am allowed to spread the word.  I taking a new position in New York with a new company.  There will be no more Super Runners Shops for me!  Let me just say I only wanted to work hard for these guys, expand there company vision and capabilities, and gain them more business.  It is a shame they couldn’t make that move.  But the sky is the limit from here people!  I have been looking for a new job for a few weeks and finally by sheer happenstance landed on a good one.  I am entering into training and a trial period with Crif Dogs/PDT.  They are a killer hot dog place which houses an entrance to their amazing upscale speakeasy.  I am going to be training first at the counter for the hot dog restaurant, and then in a week begin discussing a move into the manager position that oversees the restaurant and the speakeasy.  I am really excited about the potential this position represents.  After talking to their managing partner it seems that this company, which is widely regarded as a duo of two bests (the best hot dogs, and the best cocktail mixology lounge), has a very progress oriented vision and is looking to intelligently continue to grow their business.  I know it sounds kind of funny, but the hot dog side of the operation is really cool.  They have a fun and down to earth atmosphere, and boast the best hot dogs in the US.  Seriously.  They have been featured the last 9 years in every big publication you could imagine.  The speakeasy (PDT or Please Don’t Tell) is absolutely incredible.  You have to enter through the hot dog side into a phone booth.  Once inside they are an upscale place with phenomenal cocktails.  We have been in before with Dan, Addie, and Margaret and loved it.  They have a no bullshit policy which revolves around being respectful in the bar, and they uphold it.  No hats. No rambunctiousness.  No blatant hitting on people.  Proper manners.  They play great music, and they have created a cool scene.  The combo of the super laid back hot dog joint, and the upscale speakeasy is unlikely, and perfectly suited.  Anyways, it is really exciting encountering a company where they have a real grasp on what they are doing and where they want to head.  I really hope this works out.

The schedule is absolutely going to throw me for a loop, at least to start.  My first day consists of working from 8 PM to 5 AM.  After that it seems to be a little more normal, but those odd late nights are going to be a stretch!  Anyways, wish me luck in this new endeavor, I high high expectations for what may come of it.

Since both Shannon and I are really making a shift towards our culinary ambitions I am going to start highlighting what we are concocting in the kitchen at home, whether it be simple and easy or an all day project.  Last night we through this together after we got back from a run.  We created a fresh pasta sauce from all raw veggies.  We threw together some vine ripened tomatoes, squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers, simmered them for ages with lots of spices, and then served it over eggplant “steaks” we roasted in the oven, put it all over a bed of fettuccine.  Mandatory fresh bread and olive oil/balsamic on the side.   We sat down to eat this and watched Wristcutters, which turns out to be pretty good!  If you are in the mood for a quirky indie flick, this will satisfy!  Here is a picture of the foodness:

Pure Health.

Cookin'

Shrimp Night, Crustacean Cuisine.

So tonight we made a list of dishes we wanted to cook at home that we haven’t ever attempted.  We have been relying on so many of the same dishes week after week, and it is time to branch out.  I have been having a craving for shrimp lately, and so tonight… we made shrimp.  We first had a few 1/2 pints at the bar with our friends Dan and Mel while crafting a carefully planned grocery list.  From there we headed to whole foods to pick up supplies for tonights dinner, and then quickly returned home with our fresh shrimp.  We had picked out a variety of methods to prepare our shrimp but rested on beginning with a simple shrimp cocktail, followed by some Cajun rubbed sautéed shrimp, and a two whole steamed artichokes.  (Of course beer to accompany the process/meal) We sat down and to this and dove in: great success!  We are going to attempt as many new meals as possible over the next few weeks, so if you have any good suggestions of some of your favorite home cooked meals let us know!  Here is what we have on the agenda already: Risotto, Flounder,Ratatouille, Enchiladas… etc.  Hit us with your ideas!

Outside of the kitchen nothing truly exciting has gone down here.  We are just counting down the days until Dan and my sister get out here!  I hope everyone out there is doing well!  Here are some pictures of the meal, inspired by Daniel B DeMartini culinary photography.

The Shrimp Cocktail, and Shannon "Crustacean Crusher" Tebay

Cookin Some 'Chokes...

El Chefe.

Shrimp!

Dinner! Kind of a weird dinner, but delicious!

This is the view out of our living room window...