Middle age can be a horror of epic proportions and a huge blessing at the same time. Life experience has shown me time and again pitfalls to avoid or if unavoidable a way to mitigate their negative impact. At the very least we can usually see bad things approaching instead of being blindsided by them, and at times avoid unnecessary drama and pain. However, growing old will affect you in ways you can do little to nothing about, and it’s these things that have the most traction in my mind. …


Have you ever listened to Keith Jarrett? There is a famous story about a concert he gave in Koln, Germany in the 70s. To cut a long story short he was supposed to perform at a Jazz festival there, the promoter had failed to get the type of piano he had requested, they had gotten a Bosendorfer, which has a much different tone than almost any other piano. It also was hopelessly out of tune and certain parts needed desperate repair. When Keith Jarrett saw not only the piano was out of tune but unplayable, he canceled the concert. The…


Why is it that superheroes in the movies or comic books seem to have such extraordinary abilities? I mean I get it they’re superheroes. But what if instead of being able to fly someone had the ability to make dust disappear. I mean it’s always these fantastic abilities but what if there were more mundane heroes? I mean I would hire that dude to come to my apartment and banish dust forever wouldn’t you? Or what if there was a hero with the ability to know of a piece of fruit was ripe or not, without even touching it? Invaluable…


It seems like every day is a fight to fend off cynicism or negativity. If you spend five minutes on Twitter chances are you will be bombarded by it. Even the simple act of reading the news, something that used to be a non event, has turned into entering a bubbling cauldron of fear, anxiety, and disgust. There are days I feel that the only way through this mess is to not engage on social media or even the internet as a whole. …


What’s it like growing older? For me, it’s often bittersweet. I notice little things more, the birds outside my window in the morning while I try desperately to wake up, or the way the morning light shines on my wife’s face as she drinks her tea. Often I listen to music in the morning, and I hear things I’ve never noticed before, or maybe I finally “get" that song I’ve heard a million times but never really paid much attention.

On the other hand I have become attuned to empty promises or obvious grabs for attention. Case in point, the…


I envy those writers that have loads of followers , who get thousands of claps on their stories. Having been on Medium a while though it’s apparent what stories will do better with readers, listicles or clickbait headlines. I’ve read so many stories about making money here, or why the new algorithm sucks, or how to gain followers, or a variation on all these. Then there’s the pictures. Every story has to have a picture, uploaded from a free picture website. Is this what Medium is? Write a story about being successful on Medium, include a picture, post, repeat. I’m…


“Well I stood stone-like at midnight
Suspended in my masquerade
I combed my hair 'til it was just right
And commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain
And I walked on a crooked crutch
I strolled all alone through a fallout zone
And came out with my soul untouched

I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd
But when they said, "Sit down," I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin' up

Bruce Springsteen

As a kid, I was painfully shy and always tried to make myself as small as possible in any social…


April 6th, 2020 my career as a chef met the unstoppable force of Covid 19 and proved no match for its tendrils of devastation. One day before, I was planning Spring menu changes, trying to reinvent asparagus yet again or at least make it seem exciting, then I was plunged into an uncertain abyss of the unknown, unyielding world of unemployment. My idealist, hopeful, cognitively distant mind told me over and over that it was temporary, a few uncertain weeks at best. But my brain, my addled brain, possibly from standing in front of raging ovens for thirty years, whispered…


My health was not something that I thought about very much over the course of my adult life. Like many people, I was focused on my career, and doing anything I could to get ahead. Because of the fact that I was a chef, I was surrounded by rich, delicious food almost constantly. As a chef you’re trained to taste everything, to improve and train your palate. There were many times at work I would snack on things just because they were there, sweets, bacon, bread, cheese, whatever was around. I would snack all day but not actually eat a…


The Core of What We Do

Restaurant owners are always looking at new ways to market and promote their business, often throwing anything against the wall to see if it will stick. It’s always good to look for new ways to improve your marketing, but often we forget the basis of everything we do in the restaurant itself namely, the menu. Everything starts with your menu, everything. Think about it, it’s the first thing you hand a guest when they sit down, they have to read it to order. In order to find out what you offer they read the menu and usually discuss it with…

Mark Mendez

Chef, creative, coffee lover, I write because I have to.

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