Last summer, a good friend of mine helped me by hooking me up with a job in the kitchen at a high end catering company in Chelsea. My ego coupled with inexperience got me kicked out of the kitchen, but I was welcomed on the floor as a caiter-waiter.
Frankly, I was really angry with myself for messing up a really wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the top chef's in NYC. I was now a Chef!!! I did not want to go back to being a caiter-waiter!! (even though the caiter-waiters in this company made more money per hour than I would have made as a Kitchen Staff person)
But...I'd been going to the Chakrasambara Center for about a year and my "baby Buddhist" mind told me to stay present, see the reality of the situation and appreciate the opportunity right in front of me and be present. And.. the money was good so ....I said yes.. and met the best, most kick ass team I have ever in my 14 years in NYC worked with.
Everyone worked smart and had fun. One Bar Mitzvah the owner of the company had me teaching her dance moves during the event, and the whole staff went to the photo booth and took crazy Poloroids.
One of the Captain's, Artur, was... a character. He was from Poland and had this awesome crazy unique accent. He said "Dahling" alot. He loved Versace, Prada, beautiful people and he and would put the "best looking" waiters (everyone was really good looking) in the best positions. He would also let you know if you had gained a pound or two.
He even had his own staffing company filled with stunningly beautiful Poles. He ran a tight ship. Could run the floor of a 300 person sit down dinner like no one I have ever seen.
"Dahling... what are you doing? What are you eating? Your pants... they are tight.. in all the right places but still... how many of those chocolate covered strawberries should you be eating?"
He said to me once..."Yes... you are perfect. I know you are an excellent chef because you look perfect. Look at her... even in the black shirt, tie and pants... perfect crease.. shined shoe... beauty face.. hair in place.. Yes ... good chef.. I see it."
Not to mention the fact last year we worked a gig on his birthday... it was a wedding at this cool venue in Brooklyn... After the Bride and Groom and the family left.. one of the bartenders put on a rockin playlist with Prince and Michael Jackson, George Michael.. and we danced our asses off ... eating singing.. rolling around on the floor... laughing...Artur was just beaming...full of life.
I found out today that Artur passed away over the weekend. He was found in his apartment yesterday.... no one knows what happened.
He wasn't a dear friend of mine... someone who I really liked at work last summer.. who made the day go by faster.. who made me laugh...who, when I found out my Aunt had died last summer while I was at work, lent me a shoulder when I cried and made sure I went home early in a cab.
But now I know he's not in the world anymore and I feel the empty space. I'm so happy I got to share a smile with him.
We spend so much time worrying about the future and living in the past... we forget to live now. We take our loved ones for granted. It's easy to do... your partner calls just to say hello...and we say.. oh I have to go clean my room, or check an email... or a friend needs our help and we don't have time... or energy....yet... we fill our lives up with the minutia of laundry, bills, busywork, fear, work ...we forget that life takes place in the day to day moments... we forget to see and appreciate what is right in front of us right now.
In the blink of an eye it could all be gone and someday... it will.
Life is a gift. Live with big with all your heart...embrace every moment and be grateful and above all else... live in gratitude and love.
The Mélange of life
- Brooklyn, New York, USA
- March 20
- I began this blog to document my path as a new chef building my business. It's turned into me re-connecting with my true life's purpose as a storyteller and actor. I started out as an actor, left to start a speed dating company, a catering events company, leading conscious dance forms, being a health coach... only to return to being an actor. These are my stories...
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