It takes everything to work in a high end kitchen. You must have the physical and mental stamina to joyfully endure hours upon hours of fast paced, heavy toil under extreme conditions. You must be able to keep the stringent pace yet remain calm and controlled; ready to recall your gentle coordination as you approach the plate. You must create beauty while standing in a fire. Pure contrast. Complete adrenal awakening. There is no stopping. There is liquid to stay hydrated and a quick dinner standing up–that is it. This is pure awesomeness. This is head-down, focused attack. This is bliss.
To do this, I call up every source of strength from within me. I think about my people, the jews. The world thought we were weak. Hitler had us caged up and murdered. We were made to be sick, tired and exhausted. There are pictures of us in our weakest state, ribs exposed, close to death or piled on top of each other. Dead in a ditch. I think about that to get fired up in the kitchen. I am there to correct anyone on this planet who thinks for a second that jews cannot handle the pressure, cannot handle the heat. Anyone who thinks jews are frail little cheapskate cowards need to understand Simeon Mordecai.
I am not at Blue Hill to make a buck. I work for free! I am not there to perpetuate a bad name fabricated by religious wars and scapegoating. I am not there to sue anyone. I am there to jump right in, and to work harder than I ever have before. I release the anger of 6 million–right then and there. I feel euphoric. The anger transforms into serenity and I swiftly yet deftly place a shaved breakfast radish next to the grilled asparagus without smearing the hazelnut pesto. I look up for an instant, on the verge of tears, just to smile at the sous chef as she thinly slices a beef heart.
And at that moment I know I am doing what I love. I am free. No one can stop me.
There is no cowardice here my friend. There is no scrawny little starving man here anymore. Power rekindles. The food is amazing. And I love my peoples. Represent.