As a waiter and a writer it was perhaps inevitable that I throw a few words at the restaurant business. Indeed my first novel, Butter on Table Seven, was inspired by the internationalism and culture of the Olive Mill Bistro, my first long term relation with a Fine Dining restaurant - complete with tableside service – flaming desserts, carving duck, boning fish, and Caesar salads. Handwritten at a nude beach under the influence of 'shrooms it is more a commentary on the late 70s from my unique perspective – which included an immersion in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tarot Cards, Astrology, the Eastern philosophy of the time, and my relation to Master Ni, my spiritual guide and Tai Chi teacher – and less a restaurant novel. (It took me about 30 years to figure that out.) Written in the form of relatively short poetic essays it is highly impressionistic.
My second major restaurant work, the Ma Belle trilogy, chronicles the rise & fall of Citronelle, a nationally acclaimed restaurant that I was waiting at early in the millenium. Begun in 1999 as an autobiographical short story, I extended it into a novel in 2001 after sharing it with the Maitre'd & Chef. Their interest inspired me to revise and continue the work. While editing the work in 2003 it became apparent that I needed to extend the work once again - seeing as how much had happened since finishing the first draft. This edit/extend pattern occured again and again until the restaurant finally closed. By this time I realized my short story had turned into a trilogy. The first book, subtitled When Idea & Reality Collide, dealt with the opening in 1993 until 1999 – the second book, subtitled Rising to Power, from 1999 to 2001 – & the third book, Embracing Change, from 2001 through to closing the doors in 2006. Although Butter is all over the place in terms of content, Ma Belle is told from the perspective of the restaurant.
In the process of writing my trilogy I wrote many essays, which, in my naivete, I wanted to include in my novel. Having little, if any, connection to the plot, I extracted some of them and have included them here as independent works. Wine & Health was written in 2001 in reaction to an article from Wine Spectator, while Grappa & the Sacred Nature of Alcohol was written about the same time in reaction to a talk given by Jacopo Poli, an Italien grappa maker. Each of my works contains my unique blend of spirituality. For instance the last section of my Grappa article is call 'The Distillation of the Soul'.
Hopefully you might derive some education, entertainment, amusement, and enlightenment from these many works.