An Evening of New…

Tonight is a portentous evening. An evening when many new things are coming over the horizon…

  • tucson2011 After driving only Mazda Miatas for the last 18 years, I’ve traded my 2005 Mazdaspeed MX5-Miata for a 2011 Hyundai Tucson. I loved the Miatas – especially the Mazdaspeed edition with turbo-charger, intercooler, and all sorts of other features – but the 3-season nature of these cars has finally caught up with me. As incredibly enjoyable as they are in Spring, Summer, and Autumn, they are throat-clenchingly bad in snowy, icy weather. I made the deal this evening and will take delivery of the new Tucson in the next couple days. It was a difficult decision to decide to move away from my beloved Miatas, but it was time. The Tucson is an impressive vehicle which will be great for my needs and, now that I’ve decided to get one, I am anxious to get it!
  • IMAG0264 Wendy called me this evening to invite me to her hospital to meet a “very special” cat that has been under her care for a few days. This usually means that it’s an animal she wants to adopt, and tonight was no exception. The cat, a pure-bred Siamese with a hospital name of “Ramses” (though Wendy believes his final name will be “Akhenaten” should he come live with us, because he’s an …unusual looking… cat (the picture to the right does not do him full justice)), was found at room temperature (well, he was at 91 degrees when it was 91 degrees outside) and was very sick when he came to Wendy’s hospital. As you can see from his ear in the picture, he’s no stranger to trouble, and his health issues are just his latest fight. We’re waiting to learn results of his FIV test (which, if positive, would make it impossible for him to live with us out of respect for the other cats), and for him to regain his strength. Assuming the FIV test comes back negative, we’ll nurse him back while subjecting him to the hissing and spitting of the existing brood. Should he join us, that would raise the count to 10 animals (6 cats and 4 dogs). I’m sure this sweet & lovely blue-eyed, cross-eyed cat would fit in well with our menagerie. Cross your fingers for his health and check back here for updates as they become available.

    UPDATE: The cat’s FIV test came back negative. This is good news! Also, his PCV has doubled to 20 (normal, I am told, is around 40), and he’s put on half of a pound of weight. These are all good signs, and if they continue, Wendy will bring him home at the end of the week.

  • BeanFace Bean is like a new dog after her spleen removal last week. Well, sort of. Bean is like a new old dog. Wendy is awaiting the lab results analyzing the mass on Bean’s spleen, but is almost certain that it is cancer. However, Bean’s spirits are high and her energy is good – much better than it was when it was all sapped by the mass growing inside her. Thank you to everyone for their good-wishes as Bean fights her fight. She’s a great dog and we’re hopeful to have her around for as long as possible.

    UPDATE: Bean finished her pain medication this morning and just has to complete her antibiotic course in order to put all this behind her. Still no report from the lab (Wednesday August 11 is the earliest it might come back) about the mass on her spleen.

  • jean-robert-table-logo Today (just glanced at the clock and noticed that it is after midnight!), Jean-Robert’s Table opens in Cincinnati Ohio. I’ll be working again with Jean-Robert and the team after working part-time for 4 years at the now-shuttered Jean-Robert at Pigall’s. I am really happy that Cincinnati has retained this great chef. In preparation for opening, we did a “friends and family” evening on Saturday August 7 2010 which I cooked with Jean-Robert, Rob, and Andrew (since I am one of two “Andrews” on staff, I go by “Vogel” in the kitchen). This allowed us to work through any menu and service hiccups with a group of friendly diners. Wendy was fortunate enough to be among them, and provided a great review of the experience. The dining room looks fantastic, the menu reflects Jean-Robert’s “casual, elegant” approach to the French culinary tradition with a contemporary touch. It’s going to be tough to get a reservation for the next while, but keep trying, and come see us at Table!

Lots of new. An exciting time indeed!

Opening Night at Jean-Robert’s Table 2010-08-10

Last night, Tuesday August 10, 2010, was the opening night at Jean-Robert’s Table, the long-awaited new restaurant by Jean-Robert de Cavel. I’ve been working there to assist with the opening, and will continue to work there as my “moonlighting” restaurant job. Jean-RobertsTableLOGO

There are several pictures from the evening here, but below is one of which I am especially fond. It shows all the kitchen staff that are/were affiliated with Midwest Culinary Institute, where I am proud to be an adjunct instructor, along with Mr. Dan Cayse and Dr. John Henderson from Cincinnati State.


Updates on Dog, Cat, & Food

Just a few updates for today…

  • Bean had her first chemotherapy today. Wendy described the treatment plan to me, which is three different chemotherapy medications each given once a week on a 3x repeating cycle. Bean tolerated the first injection today, though it made her tired. Thanks to everyone who offered words of support as my old girl goes through this awfulness. The doctor that we’re going to has Wendy’s highest trust, so I know Bean is in great hands.
  • Akhenaten02 Akhenaten is adjusting to his new life in our house very well. As is normal procedure around my house when a new animal is introduced, we sequestered Akhenaten in a spare room to allow the other animals time to catch his scent and get the idea of a new resident. Wendy & I visit him in the room to help bond him to us, and the cats (especially Merrick) walk around at hiss at each other (or, if you’re Merrick, hiss at EVERYTHING – shoes, papers, electrical outlets, you name it). Akhenaten really seems to enjoy laying on my belly, so I spend a fair amount of time in there with him… Me reading (or dozing), him laying on my belly, making biscuits, and purring contentedly.

    Wendy has a day off today, so she’s given him the run of the house. She’s anxious for me to get home, so he’ll stop following her around everywhere! He’s a sweet cat, and I think after this period of adjustment and introduction, he’ll integrate nicely into the general population. And maybe Merrick will stop hissing at everything.

  • Between my UC job and helping Jean-Robert & team open Jean-Robert’s Table, I’ve been working non-stop since August 4. Man, am I tired! But I couldn’t be happier about my involvement with Jean-Robert’s Table.
  • The good news:
  • After a lot of work by a lot of people, the restaurant is open and it is fantastic. I am so proud to be associated with the restaurant and especially to be part of the culinary team that makes it all happen.
  • The harder news is that we’re entering the busy time of year at my UC job, which requires a lot of evenings and travel, so my availability over the next several weeks to work at the restaurant is very limited. Chef was not thrilled to hear this news, nor was I thrilled to have to tell him, but we both know I’m only part-time at the restaurant and that UC is my primary job. Still, once my schedule opens up again, I will be back in the restaurant many nights. Stop by and say hi!
  • So, those are today’s updates.

    Update on Akhenaten

    Wendy brought home Akhenaten’s blood-work from the lab today. The summary: It’s bad. Really bad.

    His BUN, PO4, ALT (SGPT), Creatinine, Cholesterol, Protein (total), Globulin, and NEU% are all really high (the BUN and PO4 are high enough that the lab re-ran them to make sure there wasn’t a mistake).

    I’m not certain (and Wendy isn’t here to validate), but I believe that means his kidneys are shitty. HOW shitty, and how well they would respond to treatment, and what kind of life we’d get for him, I don’t know. Wendy and I will talk about the options this evening.

    I’m sad because he’s a great cat – a really great cat. I hope he gets to enjoy living in our house for a long time.

    Will update more after Wendy and I talk this evening.