Last week I talked about some of the basic things I learned during my first 10 cooks (including the definition of “cook”).
This week I dive deeper, maybe (maybe) getting more philosophical…
Lessons Five through One
5/ Facebook is a fickle master
4/ We don't know where Rang Tang will end up
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in a few years of entrepreneurial projects it’s that the most important thing is to start as soon as possible with as little unnecessary investment as possible and go from there.
In this case that looks like this: Cook, serve, learn, iterate, repeat.
While we have ideas for how we’d like Rang Tang to serve the Durango community in the next few years, we know that we don’t know what we don’t know.
3/ People are grateful for and will seek out food prepared with care
Which leads us to…
2/ WE – COLLECTIVELY – CAN CHANGE THE FOOD SYSTEM WITH THE CHOICES WE MAKE
But…I’m as much a product of my (suburban 1970s/80s) upbringing as anyone else; when I see the price difference between organic and conventional vegetables, it still hurts a little to pay more for the organic. And it hurts even more to pay even more at the farmers’ market – even though I’m often handing money directly to the person who grew my food.
I’m well aware that whatever price the farmer is asking is fair. Or it’s unfair, because it’s definitely not enough!
But when I shop in the supermarket and see government-subsidized industrial-farmed prices for produce and meat that are not (as) healthy to eat as food grown without fertilizers or pesticides.
Organic, non-GMO (ideally small-farmed) food is what I put in my body, so that’s what people who choose to buy my pork sandwiches get to put in their bodies.
By supporting this way of nourishing ourselves, not only are we healthier — we help change the food system for everyone.
1/ Food connects people with the present moment.
Funny, until writing it just now, I didn’t realize how much of a calling it was, but it really was. I was enjoying a great career in film production in New York City. I made solid money and worked for good people on intellectually engaging projects.
The work was, as I said, engaging in the moment, but it ultimately wasn’t satisfying because the final products were nothing to be proud of. Think aspirin commercials, or videos for an oil company.
But on nights and weekends I was having these incredible experiences…in restaurants. Sitting at bars alone or at a table with friends being served food that made me shake my head in disbelief at how good it was.
I had to be a part of that.
So at 29 I quit my six-figure job and started working in a restaurant as a food runner (a flat $80/shift). That was the calling.
And still, almost two decades later, that’s what it’s all about for me. That’s why I’ll deal with the vagaries of Facebook and split wood and sit on the ground watching a fire and chop up pork with a mask on in my own apartment.
We live in an era when we are less present than at any other time in the existence of life on earth.
What Andy and I want to share with the extended Durango community is that moment when the food and the company is all there is.
Won’t you join us?