So this David Hood and I meet a couple weeks before my first JuiceBall and we hit it off like a brotha from another motha!(6 years ago!) I tell him what we are doing for my 40th and he and his company EPS are in without hesitation, donating $1000 to the fund! But its so much more than that one time check. We got involved! I started helping out with his company functions/missions and he jumps head first into mine. Of course we become friends. Incase you have never met David Hood, you should! I know I sound like a Jon Lovitz Skit on SNL, but really… Get to know David Hood!
David Hood is no saint! None of us are! Please check out his FAILURE LAB video sometime. I think that is why we have become so close as friends. I think sometimes one has to step outside their world to gain a better appreciation for what they have and we often do this by FAILURE. Of all my champions and heroes, David Hood makes the most sense. ANYONE can share their time, talent or treasure, Hoody shares it all. Plus he just gets that you can be a philanthropist when you are not a millionaire. I know first hand that my students need my time more than my money.
Hoody’s climb is all about second chances, like Kitchen Sage. One should embrace their shortcomings or failures to be that better person. This is Hoody’s second try at climbing a mountain. We all deserve to try until we complete our goal. The Mountain Hoody plans to climb rests in all our minds. We can all climb our mountains with the love and support from our community.
My mountain is creating a neighborhood for a bunch of young adults that were not BLESSED with a neighborhood like mine. My neighbors held me accountable, they cared what I was doing next, they gave me opportunities to learn life lessons and skills. And thank God for Steepletown Neighborhood Services! They have been around for 30 years to teach me and others to better ourselves. I need us all to become better neighbors for a better community. We can all climb this mountain together.
Check out the videos please. Of course we want your support, but really ask your self, “What’s My Mountain?”
Thank you Hoody for inspiring all of us! You are truly a King among Men!!
My name is Charalyn Martin and I began my career in Chef Tommy’s Kitchen Sage Program. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in life, and I sure as hell didn’t expect myself to thrive in the culinary industry. I was fascinated by the way my mother and aunts cooked family meals. This fascination grew and by the time I was old enough to use the stove without burning the house down, I experimented. At this time I was more interested in music than I was cooking. I was literally playing 3 different instruments and writing poetry by age 8. As I got older, cooking still secretly grounded me. It was a way for me to create art. Create laughs. Create smiles. Every moment that reeked of heartache, I lightened with a “C’mon honey I got something that’ll fix that”. The way I could shine light on a person’s day became my new “thing”.
The way we handle food, I recently learned, is a beautiful way to solidify emotion. Treating each ingredient with love and care gives food the comfort homey feeling we all look for. The passion and purpose with each knead of flour and stir of stew is what I developed intensely. This trait I carry is what feeds not only the body, but the spirit. My passion for BOTH the food and the people work hand in hand with healing. I personally consider myself a healing chef, but in all honesty what kind of food DOESN’T heal?!? Working with Chef Tommy has taught me an abundance of new skills and knowledge of myself. I didn’t know someone could make a living out of cooking.
So seeing Chef Tommy do his thing and not have to live on the street completely shocked me. I was taught the basic fundamentals of the kitchen, but those have not been my most valuable lessons learned. Watching the way Chef Tommy treated every single person he met inspired me. I used to be a shy and quiet person, but he taught me how to be comfortable with not only myself, but with other people. In a world of conserved people, I am not even sorry for hugging you our first meeting. This new culture of love, acceptance, and HOSPITALITY became my new norm. Completely shaping and EVOLVING from my younger self, I have grown into the individual I am today. Intelligence and maturity wasn’t something I needed work on as much, but becoming comfortable, open, and quick on my feet is something I needed the most. Chef Tommy knew that from the start and that is exactly what he worked me through.
I soon understood that the culinary world is EXACTLY what I was made for, and I work everyday to improve my skills. I will be attending the Secchia Institute for Culinary arts at GRCC this fall. I want to thank Chef Tommy FitzGerald for not only steering me into the path of success, but for giving me the tools to evolve into a better version of myself.
Thank you for listening
Wylliam, Charalyn, and Sylvia serving at the American Disabilities Act Celebration Summer 2015
Every day I am amazed at the opportunities for Steepletown to grow! If you take two seconds to click on this link, Mercantile Bank will see how much you love the West Side and give Steepletown Neighborhood Services $5000!
I know you get a ton of these, but we really need this money to expand our reach of education and employability. Each vote for us is a vote AGAINST entitlement!
Happy Friday! Get out the VOTE, we will make you proud! Voting ends this Monday!
Boy, if you missed last night’s Taste of the West Side don’t feel bad, you can still get up on this new drug. T3 is something we already have. When activated, it can give us a euphoria that rivals any chemical on the planet. I still have it in my system because I just can’t come down. Even after killing the event with the all the volunteers, working so hard, so late, I am still high! It prompted me to leave an hour early for work today because I wanted the preschoolers to have the freshest berries with their cheesy eggs, ham, milk, and juice.
You see T3 is a mixture of TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE. I am sure you have heard of it and have probably utilized it from time to time.
Today’s blog is a reminder for us all how fulfilling it is to build up the community with any of these three ingredients. And trust me, I have been burned by people that I was trying to build up. Do I hate panhandlers as a whole, absolutely. Do I hate the drunks that love to pass out in our neighborhood only to waste EMS, Fire, or Police resources for their own personal “wake up call”. Do I despise this demographic of under-educated, under-skilled, and OVER entitled young adults? Sure, but at the end of the day we can “deal” our T3 drug without reservation because we know that everyone of us needs this drug to live a purposeful life.
My dear friend Dick Bulkowski quoted something from the bible via Martin Luther King Jr last night that gave me a shot of T3. Often times when we see these people we justify our complacency, and we ask ourselves, “if I give this person my T3, will they waste it, abuse it, or try to steal more of it? That is when we have to remember to REVERSE the question and ask,”If I don’t offer up my T3, what will happen to this person?
The brilliance of T3 is in its abundance! We all have it, sometime we have more, sometimes we have less. But rest assured it is a renewable and a sustainable resource.
So with humbling gratitude, thank you to all the hospitality professionals, volunteers, The Franciscan Sisters, and STEEPLETOWN for last night, my T3 is off the charts!
So this year The Taste of the West Side that benefits Steepletown Neighborhood Services has two village idiots facilitating the event: Chef Justin Stermin and Chef Tommy FitzGerald. Since we are all about collaboration, why not have the KS Students not just serve the event, but help in the prep of the actual menu? The collaboration with our local businesses is the keystone of what we are about. Our new “What’s Next?” tag line is all about employability, so why not get the students with the employer’s immediately? These entities are so committed to serving our community above and beyond their menus.
Tacos El Cunado! Doing their infamous tacos, Thank you Mario’s Mom!
The Franciscan Sistas! Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Colleen Ann working their Amazing Bread(and Grace)!
Jimmy Kline rocking the pulled pork and his “Mini Apples”!!
Dave and Sharon From the Blue Dog! Jambalaya BABY!!
JENNA! MY BOO! Looking Skinny with those PHAT Desserts!!
Jeff Duba with Heritage meats! Showing off His Scottish Look for his Scottish Chili!!
LAURA!! That Polish Girl with That Talent! Pierogies, Bigos (Hunter’s Stew), and Kielbasa. No wonder she’s hanging with “OUR CARNIVORES”! (Pushing a little salad, like a polish mom!)
Another Thank You to Salvatore’s! Though we have not been able to mix it up in their kitchen, we are passing their amazing pizza pies as a treat!
As you can see, there is more than enough room for all to add their special “spice” to Kitchen Sage!
On St. Patrick’s Day, I went into Frank’s Meats on Fulton street. Since we moved to the Basilica Center I have taken notice that these Polish Westsiders take old school pride with the new “Local” movement. This time at Frank’s, I had the opportunity to meet Fritz, one of the proprietors. Now I know why everyone speaks so highly of this little west side gem. Fritz knows his meat! Not only that, but he knows his clientele, even the guy that is totally Irish. Fritz made me aware of his Irish Bangers(Irish Kielbasa). Holy Schnickees! These bangers were spot on! Hints of All Spice and Bay took me back to Donegal Ireland where I had my first banger and second tattoo!
I took these bad boys home to my lovely German-Polish fiancé and showed her a side of Ireland beyond corned beef!
All I did was sauté the bangers in a little olive in a big pot with tons of room. Then I threw in a small head of red cabbage chopped in 1 1/2 inch pieces or so. Add a red onion all chopped up, don’t care how you do it! Gently sauté all, covered! I always throw in a little vinegar(pick your favorite!) with a little salt and pepper to taste. As vinegar cooks down or reduces, the acids evaporate and the sugars remain. Take note of that when want more sweet or sour! Add some redskined mashers and you are in Ireland. Thank you Fritz for showing a little love to the west side’s latest Irish immigrant!
Other than the fact that the Polish here at Steepletown have no regards for the plight of the Irishman the day after St. Patrick’s Day, The West Side is the Best Side. This year The Taste of the West Side is March 18, leaving me to a CALM March 17th, the day of my people! But this year I am happy to put aside that extra Guinness to prep for a killer event.
This year is extra special for me since this is the first year KITCHEN SAGE heads up and organizes all the culinary treats for the TASTE. And truly what makes the TASTE so special are the partnerships with the local eateries that are forged with the Students of Kitchen Sage. Here is the skinny on a PHAT event!
Jeff Duba with Heritage Meats is doing his FAMOUS Scottish Highland Chili
Mike Jermstad with Blue Dog is doing their ridiculous Jambalaya
Tacos El Cunado and Mario Cascante are doing a Loco Taqueria
Jimmy Kline doing a wicked pulled pork over roasted apple
THE Franciscan Sisters knocking out the “NUNS BUNS”!!
That Polish Girl loving us with Pierogies and Kielbasa!
Kitchen Sagers pimpin 16ft of Salads and Veggies!
(I am thinking some corned beef and Cabbage to offer up as protest as well!)
And on the tables, THE HEART OF AMORE, Chef Jenna’s Desserts!
All of these neighbors are taking the time to pass on their own SAGE with the incredible Spring Team of KS and we couldn’t be more appreciative. Of course all the fellowship of the night combined with a multitude of auction items(like Mic Carlson ART!) make for a great, delicious, and inspiring evening.
Kitchen Sage and Steepletown, Two Great Tastes that Taste Great TOGETHER!
Doors at the GOEI Center open at 5pm, finishing with presentations at 7pm. CHEERS to the PEOPLE of the WEST SIDE!