An aging exterior, a youthful interior.

"Grilled" sashimi of fluke, caramelized coconut, beet carbon.

When it comes to inspiration lately, there is little that motivates me to dive head-first into the execution of ideas. This is mostly due to fear – fear that something wont be received in the way I meant it to. Because for every advocate in my audience, there is an opponent.

Root beer cured short rib, cured yolk, roots, pear

 

But then something strange happened yesterday. Something that I can only describe as “a return to adolescence”

 

The day started as any other. I woke up, took my morning walk for coffee, smoked a cigarette, and began brainstorming for something new, something exciting to launch this week for CRUX’s dinner tomorrow night. What I conceived was an idea to begin a weekly “rip-offs” of menu designs that have become iconic. In working with my creative team, we decided to start with Eleven Madison Park’s ground-breaking, one-word menu design.

Pretzel consomme, cheddar encapsulation, corn-flower petals, crab

 

After seeing it come to fruition in under two hours, something horrible hit me in the stomach. Fear had set in. Fear and motivation.

 

I immediately set my sights on who would be the victim next week, then the following week. Would some chefs throw a fit? Would they cause a stink because they felt like they were being made fun of? I asked a fellow chef and close friend what he thought. The reply is sitting in my text messages, gleaming with a youthful glow, stating what I forgot about myself. His response was, “Who the fuck cares if they make a stink?”

CRUX menu for January 20, 2012

 

I turn 27 on Monday. And my birthday present to myself is yesterday’s realization that what makes me, me is my ability to approach things with the naivety of youth.

 

We should all try to remember the bands we wanted to start when we were 12, the occupations we dreamed of before the world brought us down, the things only an ignorance of fear could make happen. I can say today, that in my 27 years, I have kept it all along.

 

“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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