A Hopeful Return

It has been over half a year since I last updated here on WordPress. As can be expected I have been busy with work, home life, and grumping about the very wet winter here in Oregon. Luckily the sun is shining today so I feel a desire to fill everyone in on what’s going on, as well as establish my (hopefully) return to regular blogging! 

My wife and I are now happily married and moving to Eugene in the next month, which is a nice change of pace for us, both in regards to our outdoor life and careers. I’ve already startedgetting  interviews set up at various bakeries in Eugene and will be very glad to get back into the world of yeast and flour! 

Things at Marco Polo have gone very well and my baking skills have been honed there and also at home. My pan and hearth breads have improved dramatically over the last year as well as my pastries and cake decorating. I feel that it is a great time to go out of the restaurant and back into the bakery to follow the calling of the oven. 

A 100% whole wheat high hydration sourdough I made recently
One of the 3 wedding cakes I made for our reception. A vegan chocolate and mixed berry doberge decorated as Edoras from Lord of the Rings!

Soon I will be posting a few recipes just to let you all know what I’ve been working on at home. Usually whatever I make gets eaten so quickly that it goes out of my mind and I forget to share it so I’ll work on being better at that. Until then, stay sweet!


Food for Healing, Food for Life

As a person who has spent the last year and a half working in a bakery making soups I find it only appropriate that my goal is purely to bring joy and nourishment to others. However I also have to admit I also cook for myself. Not just in the way that I make my own meals but because the kitchen is where I find fulfilment. I was a musician for a long time thinking it was my calling and I had many peers and teachers to validate that. I decided to follow my friend and attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston and ended up in a pattern of obsession-burnout-regret that ultimately ended with me leaving the school. Before I applied there I considered culinary school. I even took control and contacted Cordon Bleu myself instead of waiting on the opinions of others. But in the end I fell to the pressure of my colleagues (not by their fault but my own for not sticking to my guns). It was 5 years after the hurt of that failure that I decided to move to New Orleans to search for myself. Within 3 weeks I found myself in Breads on Oak, an artisan bakery in Uptown Nola. It was there that I found my now career and lifelong desire to share my love with the world.

This is my home in New Orleans. I’ve failed and triumphed here. I’ve grown and learned a lot since I first started.
It turns out that my pattern of obsession and burnout has been around for a while in all shapes and sizes. It became more apparent when I was challenged by my partner to approach my insecurities and figure out why I would defend and make excuses for my unhealthy/destructive habits. We discovered that I have some childhood trauma that I’ve allowed to fester and it has infinitely harmed my self-worth. Being in the kitchen and building myself up has allowed me to heal from that somewhat before I even was aware that it existed. Now I can focus it as a way to heal and it will help that much more.

Beethoven once said “Only the pure of heart can make a good soup” and now I think I understand that. My trauma filled me with shame but somehow my soups did not suffer so I suppose I’m not a bad person after all. It also seems a commonly accepted idea that it is good for the soul as well and I plan to use that. I will always want to be remembered as the soup guy because I can use it to heal and to heal others. Now I know why I want to be a chef and why the desire was always there, waiting to be released: because that is precisely who I am and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

-The Soup Guy