THE SECRET LIFE OF LILITH IV By Colette Dumas Got out of work, picked up Nina, did some shopping, went home and got dressed for my gig with the Goat Rodeo, if you’re not familiar, it’s a group that is best known for mixing Bluegrass and Classical music, because this is such a difficult thing to do, when done correctly, it is called a Goat Rodeo. I was asked to stand in for Edgar Meyer on bass; he’s a genius, so I was honored, of all the bass players in all of the gin joints, anyway, Yo-Yo Ma is the group’s cello player and while I’m not the easily impressed type, Yo-Yo Ma brings music into something akin to a forth dimension, the notes that he plays drip with a richness and soul that make one feel as though the sound is a divine language unto itself. The place, well that’s a bit of a story—about an hour south of Wichita is the small town of Winfield, Kansas. Winfield is best known for hosting the world’s largest Bluegrass Festival, usually about the third week of September. I could, and will write a blog about the festival itself one day, as I never miss it, but there is another well known, yet unknown, Winfield story, entity, mystery, enigma, riddle—the Chef’s Table and of course, the great Chef himself—Chef Stan. The Chef’s Table, which is only open to the public, sometimes, simply put, makes some of the best tasting things a person will ever eat. Continue reading
THE SECRET LIFE OF LILITH III
By Colette Dumas
Last we left off, my boss, Charles Koch had sent me to a Wichita Thunder Game—I took my best friend Nina, the Thunder won their opener in a shootout, which is a big deal in hockey and sitting behind me was the man I’ve been fantasizing about ever since. And now the boss is walking toward my office, no doubt to see if going to my first hockey game stimulated my cognitive abilities in some new way and of course, I can’t explain that it did, because the only thing my 180 IQ points can focus on is the guy, older, handsome, powerful shoulders that I want to sink my hands into, before running my nails down his back when he’s on top of me.
“Lilith are you there?”
This jolted me back to the moment. “Yes Mr. Koch, I was just contemplating an alternative horizontal reality.” Continue reading
THE SECRET LIFE OF LILITH II
By Colette Dumas
Is John Galliano back? Really? Not that I should have flown to Paris for his show, but f##k yeah he’s back!!! I love that he sourced fabrics from all over the world and while I was mildly offended that he chose a potato sack from the U.S. he did do it artistic justice. Sometimes I dream about his days at Dior, what a fall into the abyss Galliano took, yet I knew that his day in couture would again come. Will I embrace his ready-to-wear—he had me at plunging neckline. Woe to the great talents, which do not stumble, for life without folly is a life that has not confronted demons…
So as last we conversed, here on social media, I was on a mission to find a jacket, a green military style jacket—mission accomplished. I took my bff Nina along and then we did go for that drink, nice hotel lobby bar and I did give my number out to more than one suitor. And I will give them the time of day when they call, maybe even coffee, I admire the courage it must take for men to approach and try to chat me up. I’m not the good-looking girl, who does not know that she’s good-looking. Just coffee? Yeah, I need a lover, but none of these boys are going to satisfy me that way—I’m looking for an older man, slash real man, a huge talent of some kind, I need to look up to someone.
And here comes the boss. Continue reading
THE SECRET LIFE OF LILITH
By Colette Dumas
I’m going to write about my life in the first person, because we live in a time in which we are all at the center of our own universe, man and woman are indeed islands unto themselves, it is the worst of times to live in reality and the best of times to escape. And yes, most people have chosen the simple escape of self-induced Cerebral Myopathy, aided by screens of every size, but there are much higher forms of transcendence, I am a priestess in this regard and because there is this thing called social media, I’m going to tell you my story, I’m going to preach, I’m going to tell you to escape, how to escape, where to escape! Hear this and hear this well, I’m not going to allow you to sit and listen to your own brain cells burst, dissolve and be reabsorbed into your skin, destined to become a pathetic selfie, of what you want others to think that your life is! No, I’m going to make you think, I’m going to make you superior to a man and then make you want him to rule over you, be inside of your head, inside of your body…You’re going to love music…You’re going to revel in food and fine art…And you are going to share my passion for fashion, because a woman is a mystery, wrapped in the enigma of clothing.
Who am I? Lilith, a creature of the night, Adam’s first wife, man’s equal, the lover of angels—men dream about me in their sleep and wake up post nocturnal emission, wishing that I was there to hold them and comfort them, but I am only ever where I want to be. My hair is jet black and my eyes are darker than coal and like coal, one can sense the energy potential, the fire of ideas that lay behind. They say that eyes are the widows to the soul, my widows are draped with the most unusual of fabrics, I can see out, but nobody can see in—unless I desire them to do so. Skin is the body’s largest organ, my own is milk white. Not many people know that skin was originally created as opaque, see through, like a fingernail. And when Adam saw the woman that was created from his own flesh, Eve, he was not satisfied, so the Lord put him back to sleep and made them both as we appear now—the first makeover, I like to call it and Eve could see that Adam liked it and we’ve been covering our skin since that moment and every woman knows why.
What about Lilith, my namesake? Lilith was made from the same dirt as Adam, one cannot be subservient to one, so when Adam divided and became subservient to himself, he became opaque, leaving Lilith to the realm of the spirits, where she would always be in man’s thoughts until the end of time—because man wants what he cannot have, it is his nature.
My profession? Continue reading
I have killed many people over the years; too many to put a number on, I’ve lost count. The first, I remember like it was yesterday, I was eight-years-old, he was in high school, I don’t know why he picked on me, but on the fifth day of him stopping me on my way home from school, when I was sure nobody was watching, I plunged a linoleum knife into the soft spot between his rib cage, I pulled the hooked blade down to his groin and my hand was warmed with what once was inside of him—it was no longer his, it was mine. As he fell to his knees, I stepped around his back, reached around his neck and cut his throat. Since that day, I’ve killed to protect myself, I’ve killed for financial gain and I’ve killed for pleasure. And under these categories I have killed every type of person, while I prefer the bully, the big shot, the alpha male most of all, I have equally destroyed the young, the old, the female, because I am a killer, I kill. Every moment, of every day, I desire nothing more than to unchain my true self and pulverize into lifelessness, that which stands before me and breathes. Continue reading
Big news! I have a brand new show, think regular guy talking politics and current events, from Small Town USA / Main Street. See you on Sundays!
He’s back! I mean I’m back, there’s going to be a Season 2!!!
Chef’s Table, Main Street, Winfield, Kansas, the year in review and what a year it has been—certainly worth a look back. The Chef’s Table, like most restaurants, was a dream, long before the food was being made. The dream / concept was to bring French Country and Norman Rockwell America, together into a dining experience, in which, the entire environment made patrons feel as though they were with the Chefs as their food was being prepared, or more simply put, in the kitchen, without actually having to be in the kitchen. Of course, for this experience to be as authentic as possible, I (Chef Stan) decided that the first Chef’s Table needed to rise out of the Heartland of America, so after a 4,000 mile drive about, I decided that Small Town, Main Street, U.S.A aka Winfield, Kansas, was as good a spot as any for the first Chef’s Table by Chef Stan!
Now Chef Stan, that would be me, is neither an architect, nor contractor, thus the title Chef Stan, but I did know that the Chef’s Table in Winfield needed to be a large open space with, with lots of brick on the outside and wood on the inside. I also knew that there needed to be multiple cooking and dining environments. To this end, we were able to create the first, which we call the café and pantry. The concept of the café and pantry being, casual / affordable fine dining—patrons order at the counter and we bring them their food. I should mention that the pantry, really is our pantry, stocked with more than a 100 types of olive oil and balsamic vinegars, and at least a 150 different spices, all of which we use and offer for sale. With respect to fine dining, it’s no simple task to elevate soups and sandwiches to this category, but I think that we have—in a big way. And our Onion Quiche Lemon Tart combo, is simply one of the best meals in the world!
The menu started off simply enough. I replicated the Mexican Grilled Cheese I had become known for as far back as my days at the Daily Brew, but I added a new Grilled Cheese, the Caprese Sandwich, which we now call the Italian Grilled Cheese, fresh, in the water, mozzarella, vine ripened tomato, fresh basil, olive oil, smoked sea salt—game changer on the Panini grill! The Egg Salad Sandwich, just like my mom used to make it! A new take on my old Tuna Salad Sandwich, still Panini grilled, but I substituted extra virgin olive oil for the mayo and apples and capers in place of relish. Add some red onion, seasonings and a baby artichoke on top—well, I’ve never had a better tuna salad sandwich. When it came to our popular Smoked Salmon Sandwich, it took some courage to end its being made on a bagel, but the move to our own handmade ciabatta roll paid off—a great sandwich, became a perfect sandwich! And then the hits just kept coming, Salami topped with fire-roasted red peppers and peperoncini’s, Corned Beef / nothing else needed, it’s that awesome, and the TLT / Turkey, Lettuce, Tomato. And on and on.. Continue reading
Some years ago, I traveled around and I happened upon a little town.
Winfield, Kansas was its name, and Bluegrass Music had brought it fame.
You see when Country Music from Appalacia is fused with Jazz, then you see what the music has.
It has soul, it has a life that transcends and no one can see where the Bluegrass ends.
To Winfield folks come from all around, just to hear that Bluegrass sound.
Thousands, maybe ten’s of thousands, camped out in nature among the stages, often forgoing a week of wages, because some things have no price.
The formal name of this event, is the Walnut Valley Festival, but everyone from somewhere else just calls it Winfield, and the people of Winfield just call it Bluegrass, and after all what’s in a name, it doesn’t matter having achieved true fame.
My first experience at Bluegrass I sat at a campfire and then I walked around, following along with some people from town—they seemed more interested in drinking than listening to music.
They say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, true of most people I have come to think.
I don’t know which night it was, but it had stormed and it was cold, yet Matt, Skyler and I, sat in the wet bleachers under a dark night sky.
Tommy Emanuel played, I had never heard anything like it, and I’ve heard a lot, and I’ve seen a lot, and I’m always thankful for what I’ve got, and that evening I can say, I got Bluegrass.
A couple of years gone by, I found myself making my way to Bluegrass with a wedding cake in hand—I had baked it for a friend with a Bluegrass band.
Good old Barry Patton had decided to get married to Rene on Stage Five, on these experiences I truly thrive.
You see I’m of the belief that life is for living and to get the most out of living, you have to be giving.
So I gave my friends a cake.
Another year gone by and I was blessed to have my sister and Kasey encamp at my home, which happens to be a place of food and hospitality, really the nicest reality for those of the artistic mentality, such as I.
And to those who think as I think, there’s nothing as cool as those on the brink, the brink of greatness.
Helen Avakian, sat at my place and stood at this brink, which of course made me think, “Helen, why don’t you play here tomorrow for the Music Crawl?” Well she played and two days later she won it all—the International Fingerstyle Championship, the first woman to do so, and I don’t like to tell people I told you so, but I told you so…
The night at Bluegrass with my sister was a magical night, there’s nothing like your own people to make you feel right.
We stopped by the Picking Parlor to here some picking, and the guy on the banjo was world class kicking.
On Stage One, we caught John McCutcheon and Steel Wheels, you just have to do this to know how it feels.
On Stage Two we listened to The Greencards and Socks in the Frying Pan—not so hard to be a fan.
We ended the night with Detour, the air had a chill, but this did not distract from their skill and skill they did have.
We walked away from all of these goings on, late in the night, knowing that in the Universe something was right.
And right is friends, family, good food, good music, all mixed into a better humanity…
You see when Country Music from Appalachia is fused with Jazz, then you see what the music has.
It has soul, it has a life that transcends, and no one can see where the Bluegrass ends.
So how did Stan Lerner become Chef Stan and what the heck is www.reallybaked.com??? It goes something like this. As a child I dreamed of being a great novelist, I liked the idea of becoming a business tycoon of some kind, and I was also content with just going into my father’s automotive business—hey when you’re a kid all options are on the table. And because my family was seriously into food, I started to think about this as a business by my early teens.
Did I work in the food business during the early years? A little, I was a busboy at UCLA. Did I become a business tycoon? Strangely, yes, and while it hampered my work in the kitchen, it did give me the resources to eat at some of the best restaurants in the world. Somewhere during this time of my life I owned a couple of restaurants and a very serious restaurant / nightclub. Novelist? Yep, did that too and I was pretty good at it, but that’s another blog…
A few years have gone by now, since I returned to the kitchen. The comeback began at a little coffee spot called the Daily Brew, I had a cheap chef knife and a borrowed soup cooker; it turned out folks liked my soups. At the urging of an old high school friend, who had been working as a Chef for many years, I took over Chella’s, made some really great Mexican food, and then transformed this whacky spot into the Eastside Chippery. In the beginning it was just Melissa, the cashier / waitress, and myself…I added a burger to the menu as our daily special and Melissa wrote it on the chalkboard sign as “Special Chef Stan Burger”. Why she wrote it like this, I don’t know, it should have just said Chef’s Special, but as of that day, because of that one little sign, people started calling me Chef Stan. And that’s how I became Chef Stan.
As Chef Stan, I brought my cooking and baking to the Iron Gate Inn, The Pollard, Hygge Bakery, 7 Restaurant, and of course, the place that I now call home, Chef’s Table. But as part of my vision for where I am now, which happens to be way out in the countryside of Kansas, I wanted to do a whole bunch of Amish style, scratch baking, or more simply put, I only use a wooden spoon or my hands—no mixers. And I called this subset of real food, Really Baked. Continue reading