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10 Jul

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Kitchen Sage is for EVERYONE!

July 10, 2013 | By | No Comments

So this summer I had a great opportunity to work with the younger members of our community!!  We did a 4 week Kitchen Sager!!! We did this at our very own Children’s Museum.  It was kind of funny when Jessica Barton, program director and Bob Dean, Executive Director, asked me if I have ever been to the Children’s Museum. My response was,”Well I’m 43 and single with no kids, do you want my demographic hanging around?!!”  But the truth is that GRCM could use guys like me!  We should all share our talents at every opportunity, So that’s what I did!

After this experience, I could not wait to approach the teenagers with a little Kitchen Sage!

By the way, if you have not been to the GRCM lately, check them out! Oh and thank you Anchorman for the inspiration behind the video!!

Click me to see Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Kitchen Sage

10 Jun

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I think Smitten with the Mitten is an understatement!

June 10, 2013 | By | No Comments

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Max, WOB, Ben, Chris from Mitten, Justin and Tommy were too busy rocking the food!

Mitten Brewery presents the AFWA and Kitchen Sage Happy Hour 5/29/2013

You ever have those moments when you are overwhelmed with support and you have no idea how to delegate?  Welcome to my world! And let me share an experience I had on a night out with my girl and our friends!

I think one could say I am just as passionate about local hospitality as much as the future of our kids.  I refuse to go anywhere that doesn’t have local roots.  I want unique.  This doesn’t mean that it always has to be a linen table set with crystal and fine silver.  I have always been a “pub or local joint” type of guy anywho!  Being raised on Guiness, local breweries are like “Mother’s Milk” for me! Of course Founder’s ignited my passion for local brews and will always be a staple in my fridge, but they also have sparked a curiosity for local brews that seems unquenchable!

So last month my posse and I stopped in for a quick beer at the Mitten Brewery.  I was going to whip up something together later, but we were on the West Side, time for a Mitten! The place was packed! But in a place like The Mitten, the more the merrier!  You have probably heard me say a million times, “Its not the food, Its the people!” and this will ring true forever! Mitten is a perfect example of that hospitality. I have yet to see a “put out” expression from their bar, their servers, or even their chef.

A little Wisdom goes along way, so here’s some etiquette!

When you go into a packed bar or restaurant, show a little tenderness or leave! When you know the place is packed strategize your order and have your payment ready.  We had 10 of us, so instead of asking about every one of the Mitten’s options, I stepped up ordered 4 pitchers of brew, dark to light, 10 glasses, and picked 4 pizzas all at once! (this is a perfect time to have your server chose their favorites….duh they gotta know what’s the best!). I then handed Dana my credit card and told her we would stand until a table was ready.  This not only expedited our pleasure, but the staff’s as well!  We sat down and before you know it we had beers in hand and a table full of pizza, better than waiting longer huh? Plus this gives the chef a little room to maneuver!  Of course the property is there to serve, but there is nothing wrong with being patient, gracious, and efficient! Oh and by the way, when in doubt…. TIP! Give your servers a break, we are all there to have a good time! So with beer in hand and pizza in belly, I meet Max Trierweiler!

Max reminds me of a younger, skinny me! A bit crazy, but passionate about his hospitality and it shows. Next thing you know I am hanging with his chef and we are talking shop. Justin Stermin is so funny and bright eyed it rocks (even though he’s Vegan)!! Enter Chris Andrus, a guy with similar background(except he went to West Catholic!) and we all click like a seatbelt, just not as secure! Fast forward, we cement a friendship that has already produced the FIRST official Kitchen Sage recipe on their MENU, the FIRST Kitchen Sage Happy Hour, and the FIRST…..

So stay tuned we are literally BREWING up more fun! And for you other breweries and restaurants, watch out!  Kitchen Sage is coming for you too, because we all need each other!

Thank you Again Mitten, for allowing Kitchen Sage to develop a plan where EVERYONE can be a part of providing culinary awareness! And with that, here’s access to Justin and My Recipe for Beer Cheese

1 tub GFS Tavern Cheese..Get it at the GFS Market Place!

3 Tablespoons of Chadalee Farms Horseradish, squeezed of its brine(use a clean towel or fist!!)

1 bottle of Mitten or you favorite LOCAL Brew!

Whip together and let sit overnight, it will thicken with the horseradish!

Enjoy as a dip for your pretzel, a killer Philly cheese steak sandwich, or add diced potatoes and two more Mitten Brews for the best beer cheese soup ever! If you like Broccoli, do it with that! Justin don’t Care, He’s CRAyyyZZZY!

LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL!! Everyone say it!!

06 Jun

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Kitchen Sage and American RV! 2 Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!

June 6, 2013 | By | No Comments

People always, always say to me”Tommy you make it look so easy, I could never do that!” What a Crock POT! The cool thing about my friends at American RV is that they whether or not they are aware, RV cooking is a perfect example for Kitchen Sage! Kitchen Sage is all about local, fresh and simple!  What’s more local than an American RV cruising down the road and taking advantage of local farm stands along the way? Stopping with the family and kids to pick a blueberry or some asparagus, either off the roadside stand or even off the bush?!!

There are so many life lessons to be had with the American RV experience.  Think about it. This video demonstrates that a little planning, smart packing, and taking advantage of local products impart everything that is wise about spending time together as a family! By the way, DO NOT forget  that local products do include fresh caught fish!!

These tips will not only make your RV adventure wicked fun and stupid simple, but the next time you are invited to that summer potluck you will thank me out loud!!

Road Tip to destination easy!

Pre prep everything you can to make your picnic easy and delicious.  Zip loc bags rock for this because you have less waste to carry out with you and you can fit them into the tightest of coolers!

Must have recipes for the Bag A Von!

Okey Dokey Artichokey!  Drain a 16oz can of artichoke hearts and place in a bag with 1 tablespoon of each fresh chopped garlic, Italian Seasoning, and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Old World Tomato Buschetta!  3 Pints of grape tomatoes cut in half, one 2oz container of fresh basil cut into ribbons, 1 tablespoon(or more!) of fresh chopped garlic, and salt an pepper to taste.  Place all in yer zip loc and toss!

A little TLC with a little G and A!   Take a cup or so of fresh whole peeled garlic and sauté in 1/2 cup olive oil, on low.  While its cooking take two bunches (2lbs) fresh Michigan asparagus and cut into one-inch pieces, place in metal or glass bowl.When the garlic is nice and soft, take off stove and pour into asparagus bowl.  The residual heat will “cook the asparagus perfectly.  A little salt and pepper to taste, let cool and bag it!

These 3 “bags” in my opinion are the perfect condiments!  Throw them in your eggs in the morning, toss them with your afternoon salad, put them on your grilled pizza as a snack, and in your foil dinner for something way better than the ordinary.  Listen to me, if you put these in a foil dinner with your fresh caught salmon, your wife will NEVER complain about you and the boys fishing ever again…I promise you!

Oh and by the way, boil some pasta while you are doing this, now you have a delicious, nutritionally packed side that packs and serves like a champ.

Take that pasta salad to your campground neighbor’s potluck, put it in their dish and finish with your favorite cheese!  Now YOU are the hero and you don’t have to worry about getting your dish back!

Big, BIG thanks to Emily Richett and Chad Neff of American RV for all the support they have given to Kitchen Sage!  It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, Kitchen Sage is for ALL of us!!

05 Jun

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My students may burn the stew, but they would never burn the books!

June 5, 2013 | By | No Comments

You really need to watch this video!

The only thing that the Kitchen Sage will do is burn culinary, communication, and leadership skills into our kids’ heads!!! I have to tell you that I think that the best thing Kitchen Sage has done so far is to introduce me to Paul Baumgartner. Paul has really propelled this mission and has REALLY  made it his own!  I know that Kitchen Sage has some amazing people on our Board of Advisors, but Paul is really Kitchen Sage’s Mentor!  I really look forward to our first set of classes this July, so I can show you in better depth of the type of food Paul and his team serve our kids!  Keep in mind that it is not only the GRPS kids they feed, but a total of 22,000 throughout the area as well.  Could you imagine feeding that many kids let alone 3-4 times a day?!  I am exhausted just thinking about it!  This is what the kids ate May 15, 2013:

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast

AND Everyday they can just grab cereal, string cheese, yogurt, fruit, OJ and Milk

For Lunch

Turkey wrap with Spinach(The wrap is made in Michigan)

Sweet Potato Puff

Michigan Asparagus Spears

Petit Banana

Ice Cold Milk

And everyday they have several fresh options PLUS a garden of veggies and fruit that they can eat until their hearts and bellies content!

Pretty AWESOME if you ask me! No wonder Paul is our best friend!  Now we can show these kids that is is NOT so hard to fuel the body with real, fresh, and local products.

Hitting the Books and YOU!

I think one of the best parts of the curriculum is that each student needs to complete ServSafe.  ServSafe is a 3 YEAR certification for safe food handling procedures.  Basically this is a killer marketable accreditation!  With a ServSafe certificate, our students have a better-than-good chance of employment.  The opportunity is not limited to our partnerships with all our restaurant friends either! Hospitals, food production facilities, and even charities  seek to have staff that are already ServSafe certified. The Health Department appreciates it when you have at least one ServSafe employee on each shift. This is not free, even though we have our GREAT friend Jennifer Laninga from GRPS nutritional center teaching the course for free, the books are still $75 a piece!

I know, ridiculous! But 75 bucks to help cure ignorance is cheap! At least we only need 24 books!  How can you help? I am so glad you asked!  If I could get 24 of my friends to buy just one book, we would be all set.  So please if you can make this happen, not only would I appreciate it, I could even buy you lunch at Cafe Stella!  That way when the books come in, we could have lunch and you could write a little note in the cover like,”Hey kid, keep it clean!” or even,”Don’t get anyone sick!!”.  The reasoning behind you signing the book is that  ALL our Kitchen Sagers need to know that we ALL have their backs, but they have to put in the effort too! Who knows, one of your notes could be our next bumper sticker!

PLEASE take the time to hit the “Donate Button” under the “Get Involved” page!!

Thank you all for not just supporting Kitchen Sage, but following my blog.  The more we get to subscribe to my blog, the better awareness.  First we get the Awareness, then we get the Friends, then we get the Funds!  I need you guys to be my ambassadors!!  Tell em ALL what WE have cooking here in Grand Rapids!

24 May

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Will Kitchen Sage Save the World?

May 24, 2013 | By | No Comments

Maybe! Maybe not. But Kitchen Sage will deliver a message that we ALL can do better, we ALL can build each other up and that we all can do this with compassion, not righteousness.  I look forward to my next blog introducing our advisory board, but I thought that since it is Memorial Day Weekend, I would like to take pause to thank ALL those that have sacrificed so much so that we  could abuse the privilege of living in truly a free country. When I say ALL, I must clarify that those who shared in the hope of a better country and a better future.  From Rosie the Riveter to our Buffalo Soldiers, every color, creed, heritage, and gender that have all suffered and sacrificed to make America a country based on personal freedoms. Perhaps some have sacrificed more than others.

But who needs to keep score, when we are all going toward the same goal? We definitely need to know our history, our correct history, not propaganda. Realize that EVERYONE loves their children, EVERYONE wants to create a better future for their family and WE all want a better world . But sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fail, and frankly sometimes we get so lost that the way home seems too far away that we give up. That is when we as Americans  have the honor and privilege to help out our neighbor. We should not do this from righteousness, but from compassion. I have stumbled, oh I have failed(miserably!), and I have been so lost that if it wasn’t for my family, my friends, and my America I would still be searching for my Kitchen Sage.

Now that I have found MY Kitchen Sage, it is my absolute duty to pass it on to our children. I will assure them they will fail! I will tell them “You will probably cut yourself with a big sharp knife, you will probably slip, and you will definitely burn something!”-“But you will also learn to use a knife properly, you will learn to clean as you go(especially if you spill bacon grease on the floor!), and you will definitely know what a burning stew smells like so you can turn off the heat, and transfer to another pot to save it!” I would be doing a disservice to them and our community if I told them otherwise.  We will breed a county of losers if everyone wins all the time!

Since I am gushing with an ideal of a better world, I would love to share with you an email that I just received from a dear friend of mine, and my (expanded and edited) response.

Wow this is my kind of customer service!



GOOD MORNING, WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a Christian nation, land of the free and home of the brave.

How may I help you?
 

Press ‘1’ for English.
Press ‘2’ to disconnect until you learn to speak English


 

And remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ 
 

And the American Veteran.



 

One died for your soul,


 

The other for your freedom.


 

If you agree. Keep it going

2013 IS HERE 
A Nation of Sheep – Breeds a Government of Wolves! 

I’M 100% for PASSING THIS ON!!! 
Let’s Take a stand!!! 

Borders: Closed… 
Language: English only…

Law . . . NOT shiria ! ! ! anywhere in these borders ! !

Dearborn, Mi. included !
Culture: Constitution and the Bill of Rights!!! 
Drug Free: Make a drug screen mandatory for anyone on welfare and/or food stamps! 
NO freebies to Non-Citizens! 

We the People are coming 


Only 86% will send this on. 
“Should be a 100%”. What will you do?

This is my response:

My Friend!
Cut this shit out!  This stance is horrible for any business and inappropriate! We are America, and as Americans we have the absolute right to be who we are free of judgement and discrimination from ANYONE!
This absolutely stinks of racism. As a Catholic with Jewish and Muslim heritage and family, this really hurts my feelings. Jesus never set foot on our land, and our forefathers built a hope of a new land on a promise that we are ALL GOD’S children.
It’s the same god, different marketing reps! As a small business, I would think that you most of all would want everyone to share in the American dream.
The only correct thing about that greeting is “home of the free”
America is NOT an exclusive Christian country, it is INCLUSIVE COUNTRY for everyone. Just as Jesus was inclusive of all tribes, man, woman, child alike. Sinners and the just.
As far as immigration, yes we need work permits so not just our mexican neighbors can come here safely and have the opportunity to become part of our melting pot! Could you imagine a world with out SALSA? Get your head in the right spot!   And by the way, SE Habla Espanol, not because I have to, but I am educated and happen to ADORE all hispanic culture! Maybe if we all had to learn a second language we could learn about other viewpoints not to mention show a little respect.
By the way, the BRAVE stand up to bullies like this when they are ignorant,hurtful and mean. So if we are home of the Brave, it is time to put up or shut up!
Stop watching FOX and other bias news sources, you sound brainwashed.   The only way to drive American into a better future for ALL is down the middle of the road, not to the far LEFT OR RIGHT, we will only end up in the ditch if we do that!
I love you and your wife! But already these posts are making me and our friends concerned.
Would you rather be righteous or compassionate? My Jesus was ONCE righteous, on the Temple Mount. What did that get him? He learned that violent behavior only creates anger and more violence The rest of his life he lead with compassion and love. That’s why he is my shepherd.
I hold you and and your wife so dear to my heart because of your amazing hearts and actions! These words DO NOT reflect the people I know. So at least for our friendship, stop saying things like this within my earshot.
Give pause this MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND to all those that sacrificed to uphold the ideal that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
With GREAT LOVE, HOPE, AND SINCERITY….and

With Great Taste!

Tommy

I know this blog seems like an idealist rant, but we really need to teach OUR children that sometimes you don’t have to fit in when you are meant to stand out.  I think that those that treat America’s GREATEST asset of diversity like a liability, live a life less full and rich.  Really, they are enslaved to their own righteousness.

So to my friends that wrote this email and think by sending it out like a chain mail letter that they are doing good, I recount the Haggadah:

Until all of us are free, we are all enslaved.

Feel free to respond, and lets be a part of the 86% that share why this mentality does NOTHING to build a better America, this only serves the few with their own agenda.

ADD YOUR SPECIAL INGREDIENT TO REAL FREEDOM and INCLUSION!
Freedom from Ignorance, Freedom from Hunger, and Freedom to be YOURSELF!
May EVERYONE’S GOD Bless America AND ALL THE WORLD!
Happy Memorial Day weekend, Cook Hard with the people you love!
Don’t worry, less ranting and more Kitchen Saging coming soon!

 

17 May

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I am an IDIOT!!

May 17, 2013 | By | No Comments

So I have to tell you, after all this blogging, all this work, all this relationship building and outreach for Kitchen Sage, I am an IDIOT!

Now get this, I am NOT complaining, only explaining!  Financially I have been footing the bill for this vision!  I love it, I am cool with it, and we are rocking the in-kind donations for the build out for the new academy!! But that doesn’t get me the other materials and support I really need right now!

And seriously, my accountant Ginny is going to kill me if I put one more cent into Kitchen Sage!

However, I am trying to make that quantum leap right now from TFG,LLC to Executive Director, Kitchen Sage! So I am doing both, TFG to not only pay my bills, but Kitchen Sage’s as well.  Kind of tough, really tough! So why does it take an interview with one of my future students to present me with the big duh?

AND A CHILD WILL LEAD THEM!!

Not only did this kid get into my first session, she is now on my junior leadership board!  As I was showing her all the killer stuff we are going to afford her, she asked me how much was the program? Duh, its free! The next question, “how are YOU going to pay for it chef Tommy”? Of course my optimism spoke up and said grants, fundraisers, chef dinners…etc! Then she says, how much have you raised? I told her I am raising awareness and friends right now. Then she looks at me like I took the short bus to school and says,”Uhm, don’t you have like all these friends already?”, “why don’t you have all your social media friends click on the donate button? I am sure everyone would give you at least 10 bucks!”

Thank you Aaliyah, for being my first Kitchen Sager, For being the first junior on my advisory board, and for smacking me in the face with a killer idea! I think you gave me my first ask!

tommy-in-kitchenSo who’s in?!

Oh and Thank you in advance and being a part of my first ask!!

Tommy,

Executive Director KITCHEN SAGE!!! (soon full time!)

16 May

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Sometimes a “NO” turns into a better “YES”!

May 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

I think we all know by now that Kitchen Sage is putting me into some unfamiliar waters. However, the cool thing is that they are not unchartered!  The main thing that I want to impress upon our students that if first you don’t succeed, try harder! My setbacks and failures are only going to prove to be brilliant models for our course study!

I was given an opportunity (gift!) to write and present my Kitchen Sage to a foundation offering grants. Lets see, how many grants have I written in my life, oh that would be none! But I jumped into the opportunity, realizing that the chances were slim and that I likely wouldn’t receive any money.  I think a lessor person would probably turn down the opportunity because of the intimidating task.They may even hire someone with experience in hopes of getting a better chance for a return on their investment. I want everyone to know  that I am doing Kitchen Sage for selfish reasons too. I want to learn to teach, I want to learn how to solicit funds from other than my parties and friends, and I want to teach our kids that the relationships you form dictate your success in life.  It was the relationship with this person that gave me the chance to voice my passion and intent.  So I figured why would I even attempt to express my passion through a third party grant writer?

So I wrote and Presented!

Grant writing..they seemed to like it, maybe a B-? Presentation, probably a C-. Effort and the ability to learn …A! I know it may sound weird that I was so excited to put in hours of effort with no return financially(at least not this year) but again, not everything is about the money.  The thing that really amazed me is that the person who gave me the opportunity in the first place, didn’t just send me a letter. She took time out her day to meet with me and tell me why those a different direction. That means more to me than anything, plus……..

Her presentation of “No” turned into a “YES” when I asked her to be on my advisory board! See everyone knows that success comes from failure. With my friend now on my board, I feel like I have taken Kitchen Sage to a new level. Learning to communicate effectively to new groups or demographics is what I need. Combining from what I learned about a message and how to convey it from my Design for Good team I was already swimming towards mainland and now a have a friend with a boat!

And the BEST part, now we have Soroya Pierre-Vanartsen on our advisory board!! This is worth more than ANY grant!  Thank you for sharing my vision and passion Soroya!!

So if you feel really bad that I didn’t get the money, feel free to invest in Kitchen Sage via paypal, we could use some cheese!

calendar-cheese

14 May

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Tommy, time to get get schooled by GRPS!

May 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

With everyone pointing the finger at GRPS and judging them, I decided to give the finger to myself!!  So I asked David Allen to introduce me to his friends at GRPS. I really believe that I could be a part of a solution, not the problem and I wanted them to know I was in their corner. I have to tell you I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing.  Were the powers at be going to recognize my sincerity behind Kitchen Sage, or look at my ideas as a completely ridiculous chef with crazy hopes of Home Economics returning to our culture?  Worst yet, would they think that I was stepping on their toes or just being another judgmental idiot. I really needed the KITCHEN SAGErs, Jan and David to be with me in this meeting, so as to translate my intent. So in the middle of all the JuiceBall fun, we get an appointment with Ron Gormin, John Helmholt, and Paul Baumgartner.

Man was I overwhelmed with the response!  Not only did they like the idea, but they wanted to figure out how they could be a part of it!  So we figured this relationship could start off with Tommy sitting down with Paul Baumgartner, the MAN that heads up GRPS nutrition center.  First thing, lets get Tommy over to the GRPS Nutrition Center ASAP to see what Paul does for a living. This made perfect sense and I have to tell you that it was absolutely inspiring what was going on there!

Remember when you were a kid and mom was infamous with the way she snuck veggies into your food?  Well everyone, here is Paul Baumgartner!  Not only does he utilize some of the best systems in PREPARING food for OUR children, he is inventing those systems along the way. All the while using fresh ingredients and emphasizing local products as well.  For the love of God, he is sneaking broccoli into the Mac and Cheese! He is utilizing MICHIGAN beans into our kids’ diets because they are not only local, cost effective, but they also pack a nutritional punch.  The first day I met Paul, he was figuring out how he could rinse off the beans in the soup kettle for ease and efficiency. I would love Jamie Oliver to see his operation, he would cry like a baby(for a good reason!).  If anyone knows Jamie, give him a shout out he would appreciate all the good stuff here in GR!

Paul and I had so much in common and he has such a wealth of knowledge, all for the asking!  I love the fact that he doesn’t mince words!  My vision was all about accountability, a sense of urgency, and participation. Paul is making me own it! His mentorship has propelled my vision so fast and far, sometimes I need to catch my breath. From the actual curriculum, to understanding my audience, Paul is waking that love of education that has been so dormant in me for so long. There is so much more to write about Paul, but we are in the throws of designing and negotiating for our new space! In the mean time, Paul and GRPS Nutrition Center is the the official temporary Kitchen for Kitchen Sage!

Why wait for the bricks a mortar? Why can’t we start educating our kids immediately? How about July 8th, 2013?….That just happened!

Thank you GRPS for Paul Baumgartner! You are definitely my FIRST choice!!

John Helmholt

 

 

08 May

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DFG, More Like Designed For Greatness Thank YOU Again AIGA!

May 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

You know, sometimes one’s appreciation is revisited when you realize how much a group of great people have added to your life, passion, and vision.  NEVER forget, that saying “THANK-YOU” again NEVER hurts! In this case, just in case you didn’t listen to my WJRW rant of thanks with Dave Jaconette, just take a peek!  Thank you again Gwen O’Brien, Tom Englesman, Matt Fouty, Tyler Wayner, Terri Spaulding, Rachel Hyde,Karin Lannon, Betsy Bloom,Nicole LaFave, Mike Gorman, Jon Czeranna, and Craig Cockerill, who came in to be the official KITCHEN SAGE WEBMaster!

By the way, ALL these guys have helped out after the weekend!! Because they are Designed for GREAT!! Check out what they did in 60hrs!!(For FREE!)

KitchenSage_Preso

08 May

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You Get that Sage Means Wise Right?

May 8, 2013 | By | No Comments

And Sage is what we needed if my vision was going to be a reality.  I needed two more board members that could help me define my intent, because that is the first thing you need to do is define what you are trying to achieve.  Not only did I need definition, but I also needed translation!  Everyone that has met me will tell you that sometimes I get off point!  (oh a butterfly!….)

I first looked to Jan Schwartz Fonger.  Jan and I worked on several projects and had a riot on each one(her wit is sharper than any knife in my kitchen!).  Jan actually helped me with the paperwork to start off Kitchen Sage! She was real.  Not to bring in the Jewish thing, but she totally reminds me of my wicked smart sister Kathleen who converted years ago. Kathleen’s in-laws are a Seinfeld episode! I have been to 17 passovers as chef and family and it is the highlight of my year.  When we do the seder, the part that strikes me to my core is this:  Unless ALL of us are free, NONE of us are free.  Free from ignorance, free from hunger, free from selfishness. These words have woven themselves into my fabric, ALL of us! We are one race with many cultures.  Why do we take our greatest asset as a race and treat it like our greatest liability? It breaks my heart when we justify our sinister actions through our faiths.  If it is one thing that I have realized since my family has such a diverse belief system that, ITS THE SAME GOD! Just different MARKETING REPS! We are all one! So with Jan it made all too perfect sense. I wanted, no needed some of that Old Jewish wisdom from a not so old lady if Kitchen Sage were to embrace ALL of Grand Rapids. I put on my Catholic Guilt look and she joined immediately!!

Ok, people are going to talk!  The last choice for a board member had to be a man!  I needed some testosterone other than me.  I had to make sure this guy could keep up with the ladies!  Also I needed a guy that had no other agenda than to make Kitchen Sage a reality.  He had to be passionate about food and already tied into my neighborhood. I knew I needed David Allen.  You can’t swing a frying pan without touching some non-profit that David hasn’t touched.  And a golden touch it was!  Thats really how David and I met and it happened to be in his kitchen which had all the markings of a chef. His passion for education, his neighborhood, and food was the trifecta for KS. The only problem, his wife(and for good reason!)  David always is involved, whether its leading kids from his church, to building better neighborhoods, the guy gets around! I knew Donna was a saint, but ANOTHER project for Dave?  But I also knew I could play the “I did your daughter’s wedding!” card just in case.  Without hesitation David said “Yes” and in the same breath,”Donna’s gonna kill me” Don’t worry kids, David is safe and sound, Donna loves Kitchen Sage, and the sun still shines!  About 2 seconds after my “lobbying” David had set up a meeting immediately with Paul Baumgartner head of GRPS Culinary, along with John Helmholt, and Ron Garmin, the Three Amigos of GRPS! Because in all reality, GRPS WAS my choice I wanted to get them on board first. I was so sick of all the negativity towards my school system, the blame was on me, how can I be a part of the solution?

logo_placeholderJohn Helmholt

 

New challenge:”How in the world am I gonna sell this to GRPS, are they going to take me seriously?”………