the best-dressed farmer

Noel, in a dress shirt

There’s this guy I’ve known for maybe eleven years.  His name is Noel Patterson, and when I knew him at first, we’d been thrown together into a dysfunctional restaurant that circled the proverbial drain for over a year before it finally did itself and us a favor and had its doors nailed shut.  I was mean to Noel- we were both in over our heads and the kitchen and dining room had an adversarial relationship.  But things have changed since then: Noel went on to sommelier (yes, it can be a verb among restaurant folk) at a restaurant with an amazing wine list, and now sells wine for a distributor with some great wines, and I’d started learning about what Noel did in his spare time:  he plants vegetable gardens; he networks an organic hog-raiser with local chefs; he picks olives and hauls them up to Queen Creek to press them into oil; he makes prickly pear eau de vie; and he can grow a moustache with the best of them.  So Noel came by yesterday to scope out Feast’s back porch and advise me on the feasibility of growing some of our own herbs and vegetables.   It may be fallow this season, depending on whether we can afford to strain the rocks and caliche out of our dirt, but we aim to do some plating out behind the restaurant, soon.  I only hope it grows like Noel’s moustache.

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