Saturday, June 18, 2011

A sort of reduction sauce...boiling down to what matters

This was a big week for everyone it seems. Lots of changes. Lots of roller coaster rides. Lots of things left behind, and some new beginnings. I for one am happy to be out of the starting gate. I have felt like I've had a failure to launch for a while. What is my next step? Is it this? Is it there? But the cool part about sitting still is that you can listen. Wait. Discern. The urge to DO SOMETHING has had to wait until it was right. You can't fake undercooked chicken and you shouldn't open a business just because you can. I've looked at taco trailers, cafe spaces, been asked to run a kitchen at a spa. No. No. No. All were wrong for many reasons. It's funny what we bill as 'opportunity' sometimes. I saw through the 'opportunity' to lose $50,000, build out another rented building and work with people who would certainly drive me bananas.

Was it that I was done with cooking? How can that be? It's been my passion for nearly three decades, and I still love every minute of it---so what's the deal?

You see, I can remember that "owning a restaurant" and you can stick cafe, taco hut, trailer, kiosk, gas station---in there to sub, it's still the same job. A tough job that has not so much to do with "cooking". There is cooking involved but there is way more schlepping, shopping, ordering, cutting checks, scheduling, keeping your cool, wringing your hands, marketing, special making, Advil taking, music planning, staff training-------and (urp) grease trap cleaning-----than I care to do again. Ten years ENOUGH. And it's daily.

But I miss the cooking. Not the 50 orders of Copper River Salmon plate ups. Not the nightly face burning from searing duck breast rubbed with chiles. Not, all the 6pm people are late and all the 8 o'clock people are early panic that comes with a 7pm on a Saturday night. And certainly not the dead Wednesday with two customers who inevitably come in at 9:45pm, where you realize you've opened, prepped, payrolled and stood sentry for 5 hours to make a gross of $45.43. No, I don't miss that at all.

But I do miss the part that got me into the restaurant business in the first place. The food. Creating the evening. The glow of candlelight, the private curtained off tables. The hushed voices of people in love with the plate or their date or both. The beautiful fennel tops resting on the halibut with lemon zest and green olives. The hand rolled gnocchi in a yellow tomato and sage browned butter. And sweet heaven, the melted brie and figs on toasties with basil drizzle. I loved every single dish I made at The Supper Club for ten years. That's the longest love affair I've ever had. And it turns out a lot of other people miss it too. So what to do?

Do it again.

I bought this 7 acre compound in North Georgia 5 years ago and now it's a bunch of gardens and flowers and chickens and cool little places to sit and hang out and eat a wood fired pizza and drink some wine and watch the sunset while nibbling figs off the tree. It's absolutely my pleasure to share it. And I'll be in my big lively kitchen with my 18ft long reclaimed pine butcher block counter, rolling out fennel focaccia and tossing white beans and purple basil with homemade ricotta for your bruschetta bar.

The Habersham Hacienda is now available for private wine or food events, art openings, music release parties and my favorite: The Creative DIY Wedding. I love what I'm seeing these days in terms of couples having their hands in details of low stress (and grown up!) super cool weddings. Sites and blogs like Green Wedding Shoes and Once Wed are chock full of ideas from real brides and of course planners and stylists. And the Habersham Hacienda is the perfect place for it. Lots of soft rolling grass. Amazing trees. A view everywhere you go. Privacy. Quiet. Space. Indoor/Outdoor. Fireflies. Chef in the kitchen. My good friends and long time coworkers throwing the fiestas with me. Lounge space. Tunes. Deliciousness. And of course the best hair stylists, musicians and photographers to round out our available services. And we're keeping it affordable. I think everyone should have beauty and good food in their life. Not just the wealthy.

I'm happy to be back in the creative, but not in the bustle. Join us!

Space rental $ 750-$1500 per 4 hour event. 
Hors d'oeuvres/ multi course menus for 20-100 people start at $25/pp
BYOB for more info
Mt. Airy, GA 70 miles north of Atlanta
hotels nearby in Cornelia 2.5 miles
Easy access off of 985
website coming soon...