The allure of a complicated life?
|The decision to cook our steaks, burgers and seafood over a 100% wood grill was not an easy one. In fact, when it was recommended that we do it about 6 months prior to opening I was so unfamiliar with the idea that I thought there MUST be a reason nobody around town was doing it.
Wood is expensive to buy, difficult to train for and nearly impossible to master. Heat needs to be constantly managed and the guy/gal behind the grill needs to pay close attention to everything below and above the metal grill. Not an easy task.
Then it all changed after a food trip to California. What is a food trip? Well, we took a three day trip to Orange County and toured a half dozen restaurants in a single weekend. No chain restaurants either, local restaurants that took their food seriously. What happened there changed my life, literally.
All the places had absolutely fabulous food and they all seemed to have one thing in common, ALL of them grilled over wood.
I’ve been thinking about this lately, why do we make decisions in our life that make things more, and more complicated? After all, if we cooked over natural gas or electricity, like the rest of our competition, would anyone really notice? Maybe, maybe not.
Then I look around at the rest of my life. Five years ago I was a bachelor with a pretty unstressful job and very few obligations. Now I’m married, have a highly stressful business with a little boy that showed up about 9 months ago… why do we do this to ourselves???
Well, I think the answer is one we all know deep down.
It’s the complications that make life worthwhile. Sure, a 9-month old boy will cry and scream his little guts out for apparently no reason, making his parents want to scream our own guts out… but when the screaming is gone we’re left with a little guy that stares at us with all the trust in the world, smiles and throws his little body in for a tight, unexpected hug. It’s at that second it becomes easy to realize why a complicated life is worth living.
I think it’s the same with the wood-fired grill. Moving a half-ton, six foot grill into place, finding a source for White Almond Wood in California (my favorite), training cook after cook to find someone that can get it right nearly every time… it all becomes worth it with that first juicy bite of wood-fired Bone-In Ribeye, with just a hint of sweet smokey flavor.
A bite that wouldn’t be half as good without all the complications… isn’t that what life is all about?