Top Articles of 2012. I have so named this the Trey-Bren-Ellis Awards because I probably should have been a better father to my children, but instead I chose to read:
Best Non-Brooks Op-ed :
Please Don’t Make Me Chose Just One Brooks Column(Yes, You Must):
Best Sports (If You Don’t Cry – You Might Be A Robot):
Big Brother (P.S. Target Says I Buy Too Many Condoms):
Campaign (Political Reporters Are Freaks):
Marriage (I made My Wife Read This Six Times):
Best Commencement (I thought About Reading This At My Sons Last Day Of Preschool And Making The Parents Listen)
You Have Too Much Crap:
Best Politicol Article Happens To Be On The People That Write Them:
I Am Getting Old:
Holy Crap! McDonalds Doesn’t Make McRibb Because They Are Being Nice:
Music Business Lifts Up Its Skirt:
Best Real Life Thriller – You’re A Bad Parent If This Is Your Kid:
If you made it this far, you need a hobby(and By all means if you have an article for me, send it my way…my kids don’t really need me)!
The J.O.B. Radio Show Mixed Tape Program
Who can’t remember making or receiving the perfect mix from the love of your 13-year-old life (I’ll tell you who, the young wipper-snappers who’ve only known music through an I-Pod).
Want a personalized mix tape made exactly for you? All you have to do is promise (with some minor proof required) that you’ll pimp The J.O.B. Radio Show to all your social media outlets: An email to your address book (listen to my favorite podcast in the entire universe, that Larry he’s so dreamy) ; A link on your Facebook Page (a link to the show with the description: workingradio.com cures cancer) ; A tweet or two (140 characters of The J.O.B is dope) ; A Tumbler post (what is Tumblr) ; A blog entry (you get the idea).
If you do any combo of the above: you name the genre…and we make the tape (actually in real life a CD)! Want a mix to cut meat with – we’ll make it? How about slow jams to get all “hot and bothered” to? Sporty mix for your lats and back weight workout? You name it - we’ll make it!
Not that we need to tell you, but just imagine how much more productive you will be with your very own soundtrack thumping in the background of your life.
2) Send me your address
3) Name your genre of mixed tape!
It’s that simple!
We can’t wait to work with you. We’ve been named the best Mixed Tape organization 5-years running by the Western Addition Times. Our Mixed Tapes have been featured on the dance floors of Omaha to the Catwalks of the People’s Republic of Hungary.
You have a bucket of jelly beans. Some are red, some are blue, and some green. With your eyes closed, pick out 2 of a like colour. How many do you have to grab to be sure you have 2 of the same? – Microsoft
If you were a biscuit, what sort would you be? – Hewlett Packard
If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out? – Goldman Sachs
You are stranded on a desert island. You have 60 seconds to choose people of ten professions to come with you. Who do you choose? Go! – Google
Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are. – Capital One
Sell me an invisible pen. – Procter & Gamble
How do you weigh an elephant without using a scale? – IBM
If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? – Zappos
What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle? – Volkswagen
Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk. – Acosta
Although this little cartoon may not be entirely accurate about an interview in that infamous Swedish retailer, we like it anyway….
LO: DavidChangis a decorated chef and owner of Momofuku restaurant group which includes the noodle bar, milk bar, sam, ko. He’s also connected with the lucky Peach Food Journal and in 2010 he made Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. He also served as a guest judge on the TV show Top Chef. David, I don’t know how you have time to breathe let alone come on our little dog and pony show
David Chang: It sounds like a lot but it’s really not that much. I got a really amazing team of people at the moment that make my life pretty easy these days.
LO: So, I think you’re interesting because you come off as sort of a normal dude who just likes food, but you’re not. You went to theFrenchCulinaryAcademy. You’re a highly successful restaurateur. So here’s the question, how do you keep the buzz about your food so you get people coming in the door, but also keep it normal so aJoeBlowlike me isn’t intimidated to want to go to Momofuku?
David Chang: Well, I think at the end of the day we like to reverse engineer the process. Right? We want the expectations of people to be exceeded when they leave the door. And we want people talking about that’s an amazing meal, whether at any of our restaurants. It’s just a matter of how do we get to that point. So once you know that’s the goal, certain things become superfluous, and you can fly directly at the goals.
So it allows us to be innovative. It allows us to not listen to, not necessarily the customer, because the customer is not always right. And it allows us to sort of make mistakes, a lot of fallies. But that allows us to grow and it allows us to find our own voice. Essentially it doesn’t mean that we’re not trying to cook for the customer, but we’re trying to cook for something that interests us and is delicious. So long answer to a short question, but hopefully that suffices.
LO: We’ll take it. You have a pretty interesting background. You were a pretty good amateur golfer, a religious studies major in college. On top of that you saw your dad work really hard in the food business. What was it that eventually drew you towards a career in food?
David Chang: I guess it was just in my DNA to be gravitated towards the food business. I liked it because it was not sitting at a desk. You’re able to work with your hands. You’re able to sort of work like, act like a buffoon all day long with people that sort of have similar interests. You can go to sleep knowing that you had a full day of work and knowing that it was a meaningful way, and a very meaningful way if you love food. So it was really just following what you love to do. I had no intention to be where I am today. It was just day by day, trying to get better at your job.
LO: The one and onlyDavidChanghanging out with us on the J.O.B. from the Momofuku restaurant. Food is really an art form. So how do you get your ideas to come up with certain items to go with each other? Like, do you have epiphanies? Do you wake up from some dream and sort of take notes? Or is it more trial and error? How do you combine tastes? How do you do that?
David Chang: I think that there are some epiphanies. I guess, you could say there are some chefs that are geniuses. Maybe a couple. But not a genius in a sense that they’re born with this gift to make things without working at it. I think all the great chefs have had to really take the road less traveled and struggle and make a lot of mistakes because you just don’t know. It’s through that trial and error process that you discover what works. At the end of the day, it sort of works as a collaboration.
Then really when you take a step back, you realize, even if you made something delicious it’s all been done before. I always reference Stanley Kubrick when he says that in film making every shot’s been filmed. Our job is just to do it a little bit better. That’s how I feel about coming up with recipes and what not. It doesn’t have to be completely innovative or new, just execute it better than anybody else and that should separate you from the pack.
LO:Sort of along those lines you’ve mentioned, and if you do any research on you, you talk about being different. I’m sure that was exciting early because there’s a chance you would fail. But with the success you’ve had, has the word different changed? I mean like, when you do an obscure new dish, even if it sucks, people are like, “Oh, but it’sDavidChang. It’s so good and new.” So has that word different sort of changed for you at this point in your career?
David Chang: I guess it certainly has changed being different. I guess I’d like to re-phrase it as not doing what the status quo wants you to do. Or doing what everyone else is doing. Not trying to be different for different’s sake, but trying to do something new. Whether it’s been done before or whether you’re just being contrary. I think I’m contrarian by nature.
So, that difference was very different when we opened up almost 8 years ago. It was much more reckless, much more carefree because we had no expectations. We had no goals other than let’s try to stay in business a year.
Then as the years went by, that being different and being reckless had became, I wouldn’t say more calculating, but it’s different when you’re responsible for hundreds of people instead of just yourself. You have to now be different and make sure that those decisions you make won’t negatively affect those that support you and help you out. So it’s more complicated now than it was before basically.
LO: Like anybody who’s successful at their work, the better you are, the less you actually do what you’re good at because you kind of move up the food chain. You’re a great cook, but you’re now running this huge business. Do you get to go in the kitchen as much as you want?
David Chang:No. We recruit a culinary lab. I spend a lot of time there. But I don’t work the pass, basically expediting at the restaurants because I’m traveling so much, and because, I wouldn’t say failing health, but my back is totally messed up. So I can’t, I mean, my doctors won’t even let me if I wanted to. Even still, it’s like in any job, I think people will now know more about the culinary world as we go on. But that role changes quite a bit. Yeah, I never thought that I’d be doing what I’m doing; traveling, talking to you, doing radio shows or what not.
I miss it and I don’t miss it. My body just can’t handle it anymore. It’s a very physical… There’s nothing easy about working in a kitchen. After a period of years, all my friends that are in their mid-thirties to late forties, they have serious body issues. Knees are screwed up, backs, necks, nerve damage. So your body definitely pays a toll. As I get older, my body just doesn’t recover like it used to.
LO: One other thing about your business model, and I want to know if you’ve done this on purpose or it just is. You sort of have a social justice aspect. You really early on wanted to provide health care for all of your chefs which is actually a big deal in the restaurant world. You actually wanted to teach English to some of the people that were sous chefs and at some of the lower type jobs in your restaurant. You also take no reservations. Did you do that purposely or it just happened?
David Chang: Well, I think it all happened thankfully. We were just trying to run a business and still run a business that we felt good about. For instance, I feel a lot of the guys that are prep cooks come from Latin countries without the proper education or the English speaking ability to elevate themselves in the culinary world. I felt that had nothing to do with how talented they are. If that was the only thing that was preventing them from reaching a higher climb in the career ladder, then I felt that we should definitely provide that. It not only helps them, it helps us. So it’s something that we do and we’ve been doing it for a while now.
These are just goals that happen. These are the things that you take a look back and you’re like, Okay, I have to run a business a year. What’s the next thing we can do to sort of not only improve the restaurant, but that’s how I measure the success of our restaurants. It’s not necessarily the awards. Obviously we want to make the customers happy. Are we exceeding the expectations of the goals we set for the employees?
Health care was a huge thing, and that was something that it only more difficult to manage as we get more employees, but if we could do that, then I know we’re running a good business, and I can go to bed at night not feeling terrible about what’s happening. So at the end of the day, we’re just trying to run a business that, if you were going to run yourself that you would be proud of.
LO: I literally could hog you all day long, but as we mentioned you’re a very busy guy. So I’m just going to give you a couple of like one segment answers and you just quickly tell us what pops to your head.
David Chang: Okay.
LO:You have a very special relationship with sharp knives; your scars prove that out. Would you have made a good ninja regardless of the back issues?
David Chang: Probably terrible. My dexterity is not all that great.
LO: Okay. A night of drinking withAnthonyBourdain. Good idea/bad idea?
David Chang: Amazing idea.Tony’s one of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. He’s got a very soft inside that you’ll never know.
LO: Okay. No one recommends drinking and driving, but do you recommend drinking and cooking?
David Chang: Drinking and cooking in your own home. Professional kitchen, never.
LO: Have you ever served someone top ramen from the bag?
David Chang: Never.
LO: Okay. What would be more likely to happen: Tiger Woods cook you a dinner that you liked or you would take a hole from Tiger Woods on a round of golf?
David Chang:Give me some time and I would be able to probably take a hole from Tiger.
LO: Okay, my last question. Any softening on your stance that you took that California chefs simply place figs on plates and serve it?
David Chang: I mean, again, that got taken out of context. I don’t really regret saying it. Obviously it bothered people. I think all the good restaurants right now are in San Francisco. So I can’t really say anything about that.
LO:DavidChang, you are absolute gem. We are just tickled that you would take any amount of time to hang out with us. Thank you so much.
David Chang: Thanks for having me, man.
Ever wonder where mankind would be without curiosity? Living in cave because we never bothered to think we could outwit the dinosaurs or still stuck in Europe (yikes) because Ferdinand Magellan didn’t think he could sail west? Wether you think it’s because of evolution or God given, we are all curious! The bigger question is…do you channel your curiosity?
Part of the reason I came up with the concept for this show was because I was curious. I wanted to know how other people dealt with work. How others managed their bosses. If Dr. Oz likes his job. How Jerry Springer got his start.
Each week you get the outcome of my curiosity which is this show…Believe it or not I’m trying to scribble an outline for a book on curiosity.
I’ve come up with three real simple tips to stoke curiosity:
1) Check in with the world: Read a newspaper. Listen to the radio. Sign up for twitter.
I’m the perfect person to take to a cocktail party because I know all sorts of tidbits about different things. Tid bits come and go, but every now and again when I meet someone new a nugget comes in handy. I’ll be introduced to someone to likes to cook and recal an article I read about the raw cooking fad. It usually leads to a good conversation.
If you don’t know anything – you can’t investigate.
My wifes grandfather was an incredible dude! Most people knew that. What nobody in my wifes family knew was that he once met Winston Churchill. Grandpa Gray wasn’t a bragadocious type guy. It wasn’t until we had a couple hours to kill at a family function and I peppered him with questions about his job in WWII that he fessed up to his famous acquaintances.
Me and an 80+ dude bonded because he got tell a fun story and I got to learn something.
3) Be skeptical:
From people I’ve known my whole life to a person I just met, I usually take most things they say with doubt. I know I know, what a horrible way to live. However, I usually give everyone a chance to prove themselves. All it takes is a little time.
Just met a guy at a party who says their cousin is an astronaut. I could leave this chump and go get more onion dip or throw a couple of questions there way and try to determine if the rock in their pocket is actually lunar landscape.
It’s kinda like a game when you think about it. Curiosity – the virtual game!
It is that time of year where I confess to you that I have a hard time reading books! Just picture it’s 9p.m. – 15 minutes way from bed time…eyes barely able to stay open..what to do what to do? A chapter from the latest installment of the Twilight Books or something from a periodical? I always choose magazine!
My favorite articles this year:
I start with my serious MAN-crush on David Brooks. I could include about 30, but here are two from this year that were life changing reads. One on the Chapters Of Our Life: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/opinion/brooks-the-life-reports-ii.html?hp
The other on Fulfillment: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/opinion/31brooks.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general
Funnest article for useless Pub Trivia night on the Secret Service:http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1969/12/inside-the-secret-service/8390/1/
Nudist foodies in San Francisco may soon find themselves forced to cover up.
Public nudity is legal in the Bay Area city, and no one is suggesting that residents will be barred from taking a stroll down the street or a picnic at the park in the buff.
According to a new study, one in three people say they hate Monday more than any other day in the week.
Flomax Relief conducted a survey of 2,000 adults who said they spent 34 minutes complaining on a Monday morning, compared to just 22 minutes during the rest of the week.