Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chef and Sous chef

There is a unique relationship between these two professionals. You spend more time together then your own wife and kids. They know your cooking style better then you do sometimes. Ounce in a while you find a person that has the same passion, drive, sense of adventure with food. This person has to have your back. Continuing philosophy's even when the other one is not present. You spend 16 hour days with this person lauphing, crying, being upset and pushing each other to achieve what was inconceivable. I met a chef named Ben Alandt in 1998. He was my brother, always having my back, pushing me to be more creative. Ben was not only talented in cooking but in every other facet of the arts. I loved him. I can truly say that about another man. Ben and I worked together for almost 5 years in two different restaurants. One day Ben pulled me aside and said I can't do this anymore. I was hurt when he left me but always thought he would be O.K. Ben moved to Portland and I would read about him here and there. I would check some of his menus out and miss the time when we used to cook and play. He called me 2 weeks ago and left a message to call him back. I called about 6 times wanting to just here his voice again. He never called me back. Yesterday I learned that Ben was gone. I wanted to tell him that I did love him and had a rare experience to get to know him on so many levels. I guess I will have to find another way to tell him that. This business is very hard. Lots of addictions, stress, hours. The only advice I have is to relish the creative time you have with other people. I will always miss my brother Ben.


ClaireWalter said...

In times like this when too many chefs don the wise-guy, tough-guy, smart-a*s mantle, it was touching to read your tribute to Ben Alandt. Thanks for showing humanity in the band of culinary brothers.

Claire @

Anonymous said...

I truly feel feel for you and have been in the same situation. My best to Ben and you.


Anonymous said...

just wanted to thank you for sharing your ben with us...thank you so much for including the picture of him. it has been too long since i have seen his face.