in between time

So in my mentor series this is the in between time. ben smith has opened a new restaurant and laid the groundwork for me to continue in the culinary field and his sous chef Donny  needed a hand.Donny. this is my second mentor. this guy is my brother from another mother. i dont think there is a harder worker out there. one day i was in dish world washing, and scrubbing and complaining. and i hear out of no where, HEY! so i’m like what? and donny hits me with, “when you get done complaining you still gotta finish working, so just do the work.” that touched me deeply. and so work i have been doing ever since. Ben Smith planted the seed and Donny  had the water. and over the years donny has been there with either encouragement or constructive criticism all along the way. pushing me to be more and do more. although he began before and has been doing the work twice as long our responsibilities at Tsunami grew together. I like to call myself the hands of the outfit but Donny has definitely groomed my casual knowledge of food into something more. So the mind is there but there is a great deal of satisfaction i get from reading between the lines and donny’s mind to get that small plate special just right. i would definitely say that the mentor/ mentee relationship between me and donny is the most like peer mentoring. it’s that growth the we both get from the relationship that makes it worth while.

Donny you taught me how to combine flavors and you instilled a work ethic in me that puts many to shame, this is an official thanks!

And while donny did not have time to complete an interview i would describe him as a flavor first cook. Technique is very important but the end flavor and presentation is what all the work is for. Donny does not sacrifice flavor. Donny hasnt met a challenge he would back down from, a wall he couldn’t clean, or a rush he couldn’t put out. hard but fair. never over the top but with plenty of flair. never insulting but instead uplifting. and seldom heard of, but Donny  whether he will accept the title or not is a chef!

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