Stupid Crackheads

hB597524EWhile I was working at the restaurant this weekend, a damned crackhead busted my car window on Saturday and stole my GPS, change container from my console (with maybe $12 in it), and a pack of blank index cards. Stupid crackhead. What’s he going to do with index cards?!?

Thanks to State Farm Insurance for making the claims & repair process fast-and-easy… for real.

Thanks also to our valet Drew who confronted the crackhead and got some of my stuff back, including a no-longer-produced FranklinCovey Index Card Wallet.

Through it all, I missed only a few minutes of service, and returned to the line after talking to Cincinnati’s finest police officers. Today I’m getting arrangements made for the repairs.


A little more to do…

We’re here! Located on our new local server, the bulk of the move has been completed. It went fairly smoothly, with the exception of the Gallery, which currently isn’t operating as expected.

I’ll be working on the Gallery — and any other issues we spot — in the next several days. Once that’s done, I’ll post again.

Not what mine will look like.

Welcome to the New World… Almost!

Over the next few weeks, I will be migrating my site from a friend’s hosted box back to my own local server. I expect that there will be a couple hiccups in the move (mostly on my end, getting a new server deployed isn’t something I do every day, so I anticipate being a bit rusty!), but that it will go pretty smoothly.

At the same time, and at the encouragement of my friend who was hosting me, I will revise the entire site — theme, organization, and, well… everything. Hopefully some exciting changes! Stay tuned.

Shun Slicer

Yes, Virginia, here are my thoughts about knife sharpeners…

—–Original Message—–

I received a Chef’s Choice Hybrid “Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener” for Christmas and have no idea if this is something I can use on my knives or if I should use it on them. I was hoping you would be able to help me out so I know whether to return it or keep it.

Thanks for your help and Happy New Year!



Dear Virginia…

I hope your holidays were wonderful.

I’ve used electric knife sharpeners in the past, and I owned this one. What follows is my opinion and “your mileage may vary”. Long story short, I don’t use electric sharpeners any more.

Here are my reasons:

  •  When you’re using the wheel, you’re removing more metal that is necessary to sharpen the blade.
  • I messed up one of my knives using an electric sharpener. The intended way to use these sharpeners is to slowly & evenly drag your knife from heel-to-tip across the spinning wheels. I was good at dragging it “slowly”, but not so good at dragging it “evenly”. As evidenced by the damage to my knife, I tended to push down just after the heel of the knife crossed the wheels, and that part of my knife got curved from the increased exposure/pressure by the wheel. Basically, the part of the knife that’s flattest (near the heel) was bowed upward and no longer made contact with the cutting board. The knife was salvageable, but required time & expense.
  • Because they move much faster than sharpening by hand, it is faster & easier to damage your knife if you’re holding or dragging it incorrectly.
  • The electric sharpener is bulky and requires electricity, and is less portable to/from the kitchen.

That being said, there is no reason why you cannot learn from my mistakes and form your own opinion about the electric knife sharpeners.

If you drag the knife slowly and evenly across the wheel, you may not encounter the problem I did.

What I do now:

  • Steel my knives before, during, and after use as necessary. Remember to wash your blade after steeling to remove any metal particles.
  • Touch up with a whetstone as needed. I’ve got easy access to these at the restaurant and at school, so they’re always within reach. Again, remember to wash your blade afterward.
  • Once every year or so, I’ll take them to be professionally sharpened. It’s worth the small expense to have them done by a pro.

So, there you have it, Virginia. Keep those knives sharp!

eat.play.give, October 20, 2013

I will be involved with this important event again this year. I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been involved with it. Maybe 10? I just don’t know… But I do know this is an important fund-raiser. If you’re able, please donate and attend!

Jean-Robert and Annette de Cavel Invite You to eat.play.give.

The Friends and Family SIDS Brunch 

at the Midwest Culinary Institute 

at Cincinnati State 

Presented by Cincinnati Children’s 

Sunday October 20, 2013, 11:30am-2:30pm


3520 Central Parkway

Cincinnati, OH 45223

Food and beverages from the area’s BEST chefs

and wine vendors, a fabulous Silent Auction,

hands-on kids activities and great entertainment.

$65 adults $75 at the door

$25 kids 5-12 $35 at the door

kids under 5: FREE

groups of 10: $500




Ten Brunches

Ten years of brunches means ten years of amazing food.

This year, enjoy food from:

Bouquet, Café Mediterranean, Carlo and Johnny, Coffee Emporium, Cutting Edge Selections, French Crust Café, Grateful Grahams, Jean-Robert’s Table, Keegan’s Seafood, Keystone Bar and Grill, La Poste Eatery, M, Mantra, Maribelle’s eat + drink, Metropole, NuVo at Greenup, Orchids at Palm Court, Oriental Wok, Otto’s, Park +Vine, Queen City Cookies, Senate, Shanghai Mama’s, Straits of Malacca, Sung Korean Bistro, Taste of Belgium, Via Vite, WineCRAFT, and Zula

Family Friendly Food and Fun

Hands on kids activities in the Midwest Culinary Institute’s state of the art pastry kitchens. A Silent Auction with gift certificates from your favorite restaurants, an all inclusive stay at Blackberry Farm, dinner at the legendary Daniel Boulud’s Daniel, art, jewelry and much, much more!

What We Do

Since 2003 we have raised nearly $700,000 for  research, education and outreach as well as for the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship at the

Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State.

Most recently, we’ve contributed just under $30,000 to purchase cribs for families in need in Greater Cincinnati, through TriHealth’s Cribs for Kids and Hamilton County’s Help Me Grow.

October is National SIDS Awareness Month.

Find out more about  Cradle Cincinnati, the new initiative to reduce infant mortality in Greater Cincinnati.

In June 2002, we lost our four month old daughter, Tatiana, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), one year later, we started what would be a series of fundraisers aimed at eradicating SIDS and making sure that no other family has to endure what we did. We still have a lot of work to do. You can help by joining us at eat.play.give. or simply make a donation. Either way, you are helping us continue the fight.


Annette and Jean-Robert de Cavel

Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, September 13, 2008

I found this in the archive and realized it had never been published… So, here it is — the menu from a wonderful meal at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s on September 13, 2008 — nearly 5 years later!


Local tomatoes, chevre, balsamic reduction

Tuna tartar with quail egg

Seared Foie Gras with Ravioli with duck three ways (foie gras, confit, roasted)

Arctic Char

Scallop stuffed with mushrooms, eggplant drape, lobster cream

Lamb, Parsley Mashed potatoes, Basil flan

Cheese course

Dessert sampler including Chocolate Macademia

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