Raised and devoured
I’ve been pretty low and overwhelmed dealing with the final crunch. My head is so full of fumes and anxiety that I haven’t been able to write anything worth posting here. I’ve been so focused on trying to get Union built that I have become disconnected from what “union” means; multiple trips to Home Depot and dealings with builders will do that to you. But as scattered and worn as I feel, the restaurant is looking and feeling really good. The horseshoe bar is built, and it floats off the wall so you can nestle in on one side, just like the horseshoe I remember in Paris. The floors are in, Josh’s lights are up and Barbara Klunder has painted a mural on a 35-foot wall. She is an artist and old family friend. I grew up with her stuff around my childhood house, and having her do something has brought the place together for me. It reminds me of the Chagall painting on the ceiling of the old Opera House in Paris. It’s inspiring, and it helps me look forward to what this place will become. I need to think beyond this build, and the gut-pinching feeling that comes with it. I need to see beyond the rubble, the garbage, the dirt, the drywall, the posturing, the money and the debt to what this place can become: a place that gathers life.
I think about the artist Gerald Murphy and the energy of his time in Paris, the way life seemed to gather around him, and the ease and flow and discovery he found in the everyday. I like to think about Union having that way about it, that everyday ease and flow, a refuge for good food and good wine, a platform for discovery and togetherness. I want to cook how he lived. Taking the everyday and striving to discover and connect to it, finding rhythm and art in it all and weaving great moments within it.
I keep thinking about all of this when I’m pacing the joint, waiting for somebody to show up. I think about when this place will open and what I want it to achieve. I think about driving down dirt roads and meeting farmers and bringing stuff back to the restaurant to cook. I am trying to visualize it happening; I see myself in the kitchen cooking the way I want to cook, bringing out the essence of what I bring in. That’s the connection I want—to be the medium between what is raised and what is devoured. Union is the stage, the setting, for that to happen.
15 thoughts on “Raised and devoured”
Sounds like you’re in it for all the right reasons! I hope it’s a success and am very much looking forward to the opening.
Not one post in a month made me realise how addicted I grew to your writing! and now that you are about to open the Union, I wish you won’t stop this blog, otherwise we, poor readers living in Paris, won’t even have a web bite of your food…
Parisian romanticism sans restaurant = gauche.
Must be getting close now (again). Really looking forward to nestling in at the horseshoe bar. That place in Paris holds something special for me too. First date with my wife was there. Years later, Teo made the food for our wedding lunch.
Can’t wait for Union to open – I stroll down Ossington now trying to figure out which one it is!!
“Parisian romanticism sans restaurant = gauche.”
Wordy, pretentious comments made simply to celebrate one’s own prose = boring
Seems to be a lot of I strain in this blog, and not a lot of focus on the customers to be. Hope the owner won’t be too lonely snuggled around the horse shoe bar when it finally does open. In these tough economic times it would be good to have a reason for customers to come in and buy a meal, but I guess we can’t really judge that till the stoves get turned on. Hope the customers will be too!
Kelly and Danny spoken like a true Torontonian, no romance whatsoever… no wonder montrealers have a hard time here ….
Loreli – spoken like a true Montrealer –
votre tête étant planté fermement dans votre âne
Besides, if you’d been paying attention, you would realize I was referring to the commenter who called Teo “gauche”.
April 25th Newsflash: We are not in Paris and there is no “Union” restaurant open.
well, hello to the other frenchie frog, interesting to discover I have a clone somewhere…
To be honest, after reading this blog I have officially become permanently sickened by all this chef/celebrity, chef/activist, chef/philosopher BS.
Why don’t you get behind a range and bang out orders.
You’d think we were saving the world with all the hype these days.
Local, organic, sustainable bla bla blu. Restaurants waste so much stuff perfecting the look of a plate so that rich white people can crap it out a couple hours later.
Every chef I’ve worked with seems more in love with the idea of being a chef than actually cooking.
Do you honestly believe a line cook is a “locavore” on his days off?
HA HA HA !!!
I can’t believe the things you people are writing here…this is someone’s dream!! He’s a real person and a beautiful writer…shame on you.
Forest for the trees – there is only an audience if someone listens, or in this case, reads. If you aren’t receptive, don’t read on. Free choice darlings, we all have it.
“Forest for the trees – there is only an audience if someone listens, or in this case, reads. If you aren’t receptive, don’t read on. Free choice darlings, we all have it.”
Umm… Not sure what you mean. Is criticism verboten here? Is there a bigger picture? Enlightenment beckons.
Comments are closed.