I hang out with a lot of chefs. I am married to an amateur one (who at the last minute turned down his acceptance to CIA but I digress). Perhaps it's because I love food, or perhaps its because I admire this particular brand of creativity...but I am really blessed to hang out with (and eat the creations of!) the chefs I know. This one particular one, DK, is someone who will always be with me, at least in spirit, because when I met him, the very last thing I found out about him was that he was a chef. He was the brother of the best friend of a guy I was dating (got it?) and he was just super cool and super fun. He was just my friend D. He was wild and crazy and awesome.
You can imagine my surprise when we went to the restaurant he was cooking at in San Francisco. I went with a girlfriend of mine, and when we sat down, the server told us that D. would be taking care of the menu. Thus proceeded three hours of true culinary bliss...only magnified that as I ate one of my top 5 all time meals, I was shocked to realize this was all coming from a guy I just knew as a fun friend. There's something supremely powerful and intimate about seeing someone you know socially reveal their true gift and passion. That is what that night was all about.
I've eaten at some of the other restaurants D. has worked at and I've eaten at his very own restaurant (the first one...) in Napa. I've had the chance to follow his career through culinary channels as well. He's won extremely prestigious awards and, well, let me say that if you follow some of the more popular food shows you've seen him on one particular one...twice.
While D. and I don't talk much anymore, I still consider him a friend and he continues to be a beacon to me of what living life fully is all about. He will always personify doing everything fully - living, being with friends, working, following your passion. I don't think I've ever seen D. at less than 100% going. I am keeping some of the identifying details out of this post because I don't want to be accused of riding on a celeb's coattails or anything...but, should your mind go there, the reason I am writing about this incredible man today is because what everyone else knows him for was the last thing I knew about him and the least of the reasons why I value him and what he puts into the world.
4 days ago