I find myself deeply frustrated and at last overloaded with all of the FOOD around me. I serve it all day. Working in a restaurant (a good one), I graze on it all day too. After work, I often want to go out to a restaurant for something to eat. The only magazine I subscribe to is Gourmet, so that’s what I have around my apartment to read. The books I’m reading right now happen to be “Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet,” and Gael Greene’s (famous NY restaurant critic) memoir, “Insatiable.” On my days off, I want to cook and go to the farmer’s market, and often find myself at New Seasons grocery store at least twice a week. It’s too much. I’m bored already.
When I worked in retail (fashion), I couldn’t get enough time for the food stuff. What I thought I wanted to be doing was working in a restaurant (well, owning one really). And here I am. I care more about the buzz on what’s opening, what the innovative chefs are doing, how Greg Higgins is flying from Portland to New York city to make an appearance at the “Chef’s Gone Wild” event benefiting City Meals on Wheels (which, coincidentally Gael Greene helped to start) this summer. One of my managers came in to work this afternoon proclaiming “I will bet...I’d put money on Rocket being named the Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year.” He was boasting it like some self-proclaimed prophet. I just stood there (stewing). Duh. Hello! When I HEARD about the concept for Rocket months (actually about a year) ago, I knew it would be a big deal. The chef, his connections with the food world (coming from Noble Rot, which I read about in Gourmet before even thinking about moving to Portland), and the innovative concept (molecular gastronomy, blah blah blah). When I heard that the building built to house it (the “Rocket Building”) was platinum LEED certified (one of a few in the nation), and read that Leather Storrs (the chef) planned to put a garden and chicken coop on the roof, I knew that the place would be like no other. And finally, when I applied for a job there (knowing, based on all of the above factors, that it would be buzzworthy) and took in the view for myself (more than 180 degrees—best view in Portland, of both the downtown skyline AND Mt. Hood on a clear day), I knew that it would be this summer’s hot spot. Or, at the very least, the most talked about restaurant in town. Which, it is. A friend who works there just told me that the New York Times is flying in this weekend to review it. What did I tell ya?