When I opened Feast, my dream was to open a restaurant but gently remove myself from what I’d known as the restaurant business for nearly 20 years. My ingenious plan was to offer carryout food and close at 8:00 pm, no longer being trapped by sophisticated late-night diners until midnight or later, to have a lifestyle closer to that of my friends who weren’t in the business, but still to do what I loved to do: make food I was proud to serve.
It didn’t work. Tucson doesn’t have the density for a takeout place to work, at least not one that doesn’t have a drive-through. We’re car people, and we want to either grab our carryout without leaving the car, or make an event out of it and dine out. There’s no in-between, it seems. So Feast evolved into a sit-down restaurant, one where sophisticated late-night diners could still keep us here until late, where I watched my friends who aren’t in the business from afar go meet for happy hour, or do something on a weekend, or carry on like normal people do.
Ironically, now that I get to have a life a lot more like they do, I still don’t get to see them, but I must admit to relishing being finished at 8 pm. I do very much miss making dishes that are built for restaurant service- a dish with both hot and cold elements, or something crispy on top- that doesn’t do well in a takeout box for half an hour, though, and in spite of gearing up to re-open the dining room just before this last spike happened, and I do look forward to that happening soon.
I just want to cook for you. I don’t want to argue with people who tell me that I’m an idiot for not reopening the dining room, or about what causes the spread of Covid, or about violations of our rights, or what Congress should and shouldn’t be doing. I want to make delicious food. For anyone who wants to buy it from us. It doesn’t matter to me what you think about this or that political outrage, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with you. Deliciousness is non-partisan. And this is an email list that’s first and foremost about food and drink. So you may see something here you regard as political, like a link to the Independent Restaurant Coalition’s website, and if that offends you, I’m happy to remove you from the list. I’m not out to promote an agenda, I’m out to promote food and drink. I don’t regard my notes as political; I regard them as an attempt to survive in the midst of an environment where over 110,000 restaurants have shuttered in the past nine months. I just want to keep offering what we’ve offered, keep the people who work here and are dear to me working here, and contribute to the community where I live.
So with that in mind, here’s the customary smattering of food- and beverage-related links I send to you nearly daily now. There’s the menu, of course, and a link to the latest series of donation runs:
and, since of them is happening today, a link to the website of Covenant House, where we’re headed with 110 early Christmas meals this afternoon.
Here are a couple more links as well, one to Saturday’s wine tasting
and one to Sunday’s
and one to the menu of hors d’oeuvres we’re offering for New Year’s Eve:
And with that, I withdraw from political conversation and turn my sights to getting the January menu written, to prepping Christmas food, and to calling it a day, mercifully, at 8:00, whether I get to hang out with my non-restaurant pals or not. Thanks, eveyone.