Life

You Think You Deserve a Tip? Here’s a Tip…

2015.Feb.27 Friday
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I get asked, a lot, for “coaching” or whatever the current buzzword is on opening a closed door restaurant. While it’s hard to distill the nearly 10 years of Casa S and all the dinners I used to do in NYC, plus a couple of decades of restaurant experience, down to anything that resembles the […]

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Last Glimpses of San José

2015.Feb.19 Thursday
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I’ve had this slowly growing realization over the last few years that I really don’t like to go on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, I love to see and do new things, I love to meet new people. It’s the “vacating” part of vacation that I’m not enamored with – when […]

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The Jacó Pop-Up

2015.Feb.16 Monday
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Books tend to start or end with acknowledg-ments, dinners rarely do. This pop-up event that I’ve been teasing you with over the last week or so started off as the glimmer of an idea in the mind of a chef turned hospitality consultant, Jon Hochstat. Jon and I were active in the New York restaurant […]

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Where Life’s a Beach

2015.Feb.15 Sunday
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Look, Jacó, Costa Rica, is not going to win any awards for World’s Most Beautiful City, or Best Place in the World to Dine, or anything else of the sort. The town of 10,000 is pretty much a strip mall of bars, restaurants, surf and souvenir shops. There seem to be two kinds of tourists […]

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A Little Biology, A Little Chocolate

2015.Feb.14 Saturday
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Mostly just pictures today – a visit to the Tirimbina Biological Reserve and cocoa plantation. Seven of us in a mini-van from San Jose for an hour and a half to the north, and then a pretty beautiful day for hiking through the rainforest. My zoom lens came in handy this venture! Midway through the […]

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Four Meals, a Goodbye to San Jose

2015.Feb.13 Friday
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I had planned to take a couple of days to go “somewhere” in Costa Rica between San Jose and Jacó, where I am now. The idea of visiting a cocoa plantation had gotten stuck in my mind, and I’d sent off inquiries to various spots that offered tours and/or accomodations, mostly along the Caribbean coast […]

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A Little Art, A Little Heart

2015.Feb.12 Thursday
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The days are starting to blur, and I’m falling a bit behind – here it is Thursday and I’m just posting about Sunday – however, some of that will get caught up – I can already see, Monday and Wednesday were pretty much do-nothing days, for different reasons, so they’ll end up a combined food-only […]

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Organics and the Red Moon Pizza

2015.Feb.11 Wednesday
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Vivi, my new local chef friend, suggested we meet up again on Saturday morning for a look at one of the city’s newer markets, the Feria Verde de Aranjuez, an organic food market that’s held every, well, Saturday morning. It’s held on the grounds of a local sports park in the zone of Aranjuez. Originally […]

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Of Coffee, Falling Water, and the Volcano That Wasn’t

2015.Feb.09 Monday
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As best I can tell, Costa Rica’s only real industries are tourism, coffee and cocoa. The first is clearly the dominant one, and everywhere I turn here there’s something being offered that’s designed to involve some sort of tour or activity, preferably that I will part with dollars for. In fact, they make it as […]

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