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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chef's Meme - On The Road



   So, here  I am on the road in Ottawa, Kingston Ontario, too be exact.  I have been in Canada for the week working with Canada Corrections on the last of five cook chill start ups across the nation. I have made 7 trips up from Gulfport Mississippi since last October. In addition I have worked in Atlanta twice, in support of the companies new training center outside of Atlanta, Ga, a trip to Jackson to the test kitchen in support of Cap Kold - Cook Chill , and a trip to Anehiem California for the NAFEM show. The NAFEM show is THE equipment show for food service! Held every 2 years in either Orlando or LA. I have worked 5 in my career and WOW, the show in LA this year was AWESOME!!! I had such a GREAT time working the demo booth with Chef Steve D'Angelo. I was introduced to Moscow Mules!!!!! HELLO!!! They Rock!!! Sorry I digress -  the point of this is to describe the trip currently in progress. The blog gives me an opportunity to describe experiences that would have to be limited to 65 or so characters on other social media, however, here I get to discuss all the in's and out's, Inn's and Hangout's on the road!!!!

   My travel mate Mike Smith had been here 6 weeks ago for an equipment start up and certification. In this process he has to work with different contractors to get the equipment set up, electrical, plumbing, HVAC etc, yes there is a lot involved. Anyway - Mike met the General Contractor on this job at Bath,. His name is Sean Murphy - what a character. He is one of those guys that just knows his STUFF - and no one is going to tell he how or what to do - including "the office" in Ottawa!! He hangs out every afternoon at this little place called the Loyal Oarsman!!!! This is where he holds "Court"! (Gives his worldview drinks beer and buys shots!!!!) Yes plural!! Jagermeister is his shot of choice!!! This guy is a riot. Well - he drug us down there on Monday night, now I stayed away from the shots, but got pretty tangled up with Smith-wicks Draft Beer! What a riot!!! The place is just a local pub, and like all local pubs, they have their regulars. This is not a place that will be listed on "Must See Attractions" or anything like that. It is LOCAL, meaning they don't take to kindly to strangers. Don't get me wrong, I think Canadians are SOOO nice that they would never intentionally shun anyone. But, because "Murf" invited us - we were immediately one of the "REGULARS". Which led to a very interesting experience. Several rounds were purchased and there was lots of introductions to folks that I will most likely never see again, but you never know. In this world all things are connected. For instance, as I was checking in for my flight home on Delta at the Ottawa International Airport, the Jamaican ticket agent asked me where I was going, I told her the Gulfport/Biloxi Airport in Mississippi, she says "tell my cousin I said hello, they live in Biloxi. I was down there 2 years ago and we stayed at the Beau Rivage Casino in downtown Biloxi for the week". Well the company there was polite, the atmosphere was great and beer was awesome! It is always a great experience to make friends in new places. Often when we go on these business trips it is the same old thing, work all day, eat dinner in your room or at the hotel bar, go back to your room. This was different, we were accepted, embraced as friends, really a great, warm, friendly place!!!