Fundamentals for the Soul

“There is a sushi chef in Japan who has made maybe the same forty cuts of sushi for seventy years and he’s still trying to get it right. There is a guy in Spain who does nothing but grill stuff and that’s where all of the chefs want to eat. Very straightforward, very soulful food…

Art is the Expression of Essence

“I’ve found that this dish takes a lot of black pepper.” -Chef David Chang Taste is subjective. It is a personal and/or cultural preference. Essence, on the other hand, precedes and transcends taste. It is the thing that just looks, sounds, tastes, or feels ‘right’ even if we cannot exactly describe why. Essence is the…

Steamed Crabs and a Beginner’s Mind

“You are doing it wrong. Let me show you how to do it the right way.” One of the summer rituals in Maryland is eating steamed crabs. This is especially true where I live, near the Chesapeake Bay. I have been eating steamed blue crabs with Old Bay seasoning (a spice blend native to this…

A Penny For Your Shot

My maternal grandfather was a man of many hobbies. He liked to play, arrange, and collect music and he was an avid fly fisherman and wild game hunter. Mainly, he hunted wild birds and deer with his dogs, who he loved to watch ‘work’ as he called it. Through him and his hobbies, I was…

A Prayer of Service

Is religion the organization, the belief, or the act? A lot of people these days seem to have disdain for religion. It is easy to see why. It is a contentious subject, perhaps the most contentious subject since the dawn of humanity. It is so contentious, in fact, that the history of humankind is essentially…