Tag Archives: eastside chippery

EASTSIDE CHIPPERY THE FINAL CHAPTER

As I sit in one of my favorite coffee houses, somewhere in a small town in Kansas, my mind drifts to the last year in which I performed my services as Chef Stan, The Iron Chef, of Montebello’s Eastside Chippery. Of all the roles I have played, master criminal, art dealer, visual artist, night club owner, clothing designer, movie producer and all the variations there of, I can honestly say that Chef Stan and the Eastside Chippery may have been the most challenging. And perhaps the most rewarding.

Usually at this point I would recap some of my thoughts from the blogs Eastside Chippery Part I and Part II, but frankly I’m not much in the mood to look back—I’ll save that for the book. Suffice it to say that a little over a year ago I wound up taking over a really bad Mexican food restaurant in my hometown of Montebello. And this restaurant, against all odds, turned out to be both an incredible fiasco and success simultaneously during the same year. This being said, I’d like to share some of the deeper thoughts and emotions that I experienced during the course of being Chef Stan of the Eastside Chippery.

In many ways I am the ultimate of ordinary and yet there is a very unusual spark here and there that has for all of my life made me different. I say this now because it’s always had an effect and or influence on how things I’ve been involved in have turned out. It’s also the reason that people throughout my life have had such strong reactions toward me. In short, I’ve been blessed to have been the recipient of kindness and teaching by people of much greater accomplishment than myself and I have also been hated by people who have perceived insult or mistreatment, which in fact may have occurred, but certainly to no degree that merited, in some cases, unadulterated malice.

For 45 years or so, there was a part of me that just wanted to be normal. However, in my heart there was an even greater desire to be special. And over the last year at the Eastside Chippery I came to realize that both were vanity and the source of much of what had become frustrating and emotionally painful to me. One might ask, hadn’t you heard the words of King Solomon? And the answer is, yes, I had heard the words “Vanity of vanities…” but hearing and understanding do not necessarily equate to harkening. As I stood in the kitchen cooking and washing dishes sometimes for 32 hour stretches at a time, my heart, for lack of better words, began to soften and the vanity to dissipate. Continue reading

THE STATE OF THE UNION

Friends,

After writing eight books, ten movies, two Vegas shows, a dinner show, a television series, four hundred blogs and one famous poem over a ten-year period, I concluded it might be time to pause—drive around the country, do some cooking (I’ve been cooking and doing dishes at a restaurant in Montebello known as the Eastside Chippery) and frankly, do some thinking and try to rediscover myself.

And while much cogitation has been about my own life, my mind has at times wandered to the contemplation of the world around me, not as a blogger / pundit, but as a hard working American. Not so surprisingly, over the course of the last two years a variety of people have asked me to share my thoughts on what’s going on or as many might think, what’s going wrong in our country, yet I have refrained. Why? Given that I am not known for being shy with respect to speaking what I believe to be the truth, irregardless of who it might offend, even the rich and powerful, actually, especially the rich and powerful. Well, simply put, I decided that it was best to give our leaders a chance to right the ship. And yes, I knew that they would fail. And yes, I let them do so, while I cooked and did dishes. And I’ve thought about and continue to think about this decision a great deal. There is not a problem that our country faces that there is not a solution to, but a solution is in the realm of the abstract unless implemented…And do Americans really want solutions? I haven’t decided, none-the-less, I have concluded that I would at least share a few observations.

The National Debt is close to 15 trillion dollars. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling the Federal Government will default on many of its obligations. Note: Our government borrows 40% of every dollar it spends. Continue reading