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FauxPas

Curious Kumquat in Silver City, NM will be closing!

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I think you should be scientific about your new location, so it is as close as possible to all of your EGullet fans. Don't worry, I did the work for you. I set up a database of EGulleters' locations, plotted them on a grid, then calculated mean distance times by auto, train, and air. Rob, the optimal location for your new restaurant is Berkeley/Oakland in the Bay Area! Welcome!

 

:wink:   good luck, pls keep us posted.

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I'm sure many people will travel up from Melbourne to your new Bendigo restaurant. Welcome to the neighbourhood  :smile:

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Its not really a secret. I was just being evasive since nothing is set in stone yet. We won't be in New Mexico for sure. We'll end up wherever my spouse gets a job, but the two possibilities at this point are Northern California (yes, possibly the Oakland area), but I'd hedge all of my money on St. Louis. A wildcard is Puebla, Mexico where I'm loosely pursuing a residency program. I would love Australia, but your politicians are almost as crazy as ours.

 

But why St. Louis? Its a big ass city that has a strong restaurant scene with room for growth on the casual fine dining side. Niche, Sydney St Cafe, Eloisa & Oilo and a few others are doing great, but its a huge metro. I was born and raised there - never thought I'd go back - but family is still there, and family is aging. I'd like to spend some time with them before they're at an age where we can't enjoy an active life together.

 

St. Louis has some down sides. The one that is glaring at me is that it is the 10th oldest city in the US based on median age. My food is more geared toward a younger crowd, but again, its a very large city. There is plenty of foraging outside of the city. I would never buy forage - I have strong ethical problems with that. What I'll have to reconcile is that I've been in a pristine wilderness for 12 years and trust my food source, so can I trust the food safety of a plant that can breath the air of a big city? I had already begun researching soil and water sampling, so now its time to ramp up that knowledge.

 

My plan is Tue-Sat, dinners only, closed all of Aug or Sept (I want to go Euro and break this crazy work cycle that we Americans love). I will double my capacity and I'm bringing a chef from ABQ with me who is CIA trained. We both share the commitment to farmed/foraged/scratch.

 

On a side note, and while I have a big ego, this is a bit much even for me, here is the statement from the ABQ Journal's restaurant reviewer (recently retired): "Silver City is going to lose the best Chef not just in the city, or the county, or the state, but probably in the Southwest. Where ever Rob Connoley goes, he will be doing his best work and delighting his diners, no matter what. If you live within 6 hours, GO to eat at the Curious Kumquat. If you live somewhere else.... save your mileage points for the new location. I am."

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Lucky, lucky me.  Live just over three hours from St. Louis.  Now in a addition to the world class zoo and my amazing baseball team I have yet another reason to make the trip southward!  Love the town and I'm sure anything you do will only add to it.  Not too big, and not too small, just right with a wonderful diverse population that seems to really enjoy their eating experiences.  I do hope you end up there!

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I'd vote for STL, definitely. As you wrote, there's definitely a need for your type of place. For me, it's still too far away for a casual drive (about 6½ hours), but Southwest often runs cheap non-stops from GRR. And if the Tigers and the Cardinals should ever meet again in the World Series, I'm there. (I had high hopes for this year, but... :sad: )

 

Regarding foraging, you might want to check out this book -- Midwest Foraging. I'm sure the author would be glad to talk with you. Here's her Facebook page.

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Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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That would be nice if you ended up in St Louis. (I add my voice to that of Iowa Dee)  I am just under 4 hours from there and could see myself making a driving trip there (or something like that) and sampling your food.  I like St Louis, at least the main St Louis proper, and the dining scene there. The Missouri Botanical Garden is also such a gem!!

 

How interesting that you grew up in St Louis and still have family there! 


Edited by huiray (log)

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We drive through St. Louis twice a year and would love a good stop-off reason.  I'll vote for SLC. 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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St. Louis has some down sides. The one that is glaring at me is that it is the 10th oldest city in the US based on median age.

Great luck - I happen to know the twelve young people there. And if that's where you wind up I'll send them all your way!

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Hey sometimes an older base can be a good thing. More money for dining out, more time, no screaming little ones at the table.

Even more sophisticated taste at times.  Forgot about the amazing botanical center.  We were there for the Chihuly show and fell in love with the place,  We have several family members in Columbia with plenty of kids if St. Louis wants to rent them out ( and keep most of them)

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Maybe we'll see how you make the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, which I learned about because of your blog, fit into what you do in your restaurant setting. :raz:  :biggrin: 

Seriously though, I have no doubt wherever you end up, you'll be a success.






 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Crazy! I just did my inventory and (more importantly) my exclusion list of what is and isn't included in the sale of the building and business. Funny what we need to hold onto and those precious items that we're willing to let go of. Basically I only kept my chocolate making equipment, my beer making equipment and my cookbooks.

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Does the sale include the "Name" and "Past Reputation" of the business?

 

I ask because from my (limited) experience "change of ownership" of a dining establishment where the NAME of the restaurant remains the same has often tended to be for the worse, and has impacted to greater or lesser degree (i.e. varies) the "association", so to speak, of the former owner (or owner-chef) of a place with the quality of the place after he/she had left – especially in the context of future diners who may not know (or care) that ownership of a place had changed and that the former chef was no longer associated with the place they were now dining at.

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It will. I'm willing to take that hit if it happens. I'll train long enough to get someone up to speed, but I am confident that I"ll make much more of a name for myself in a larger city that will surpass what I've done here, and when a chef leaves or a business changes ownership, people know.

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Crazy! I just did my inventory and (more importantly) my exclusion list of what is and isn't included in the sale of the building and business. Funny what we need to hold onto and those precious items that we're willing to let go of. Basically I only kept my chocolate making equipment, my beer making equipment and my cookbooks.

Rob, you are keeping your knives... right? Or do those go with the business?

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Oh I do love my knives. They go with me (and to show the level of specificity of my inventory), as do the sayas, retail boxes, sharpening system, stones, wall mounts, honing rod and all of other knife related matter.

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It will. I'm willing to take that hit if it happens. I'll train long enough to get someone up to speed, but I am confident that I"ll make much more of a name for myself in a larger city that will surpass what I've done here, and when a chef leaves or a business changes ownership, people know.

 

Especially when folks are interested enough in said chef to travel as far out of their way as most folks must in order to get to Silver City.  Those are not just casual diners.  They're culinary hobbyists, interested in enjoying Rob's food..

 

They'll know.

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Especially when folks are interested enough in said chef to travel as far out of their way as most folks must in order to get to Silver City.  Those are not just casual diners.  They're culinary hobbyists, interested in enjoying Rob's food..

 

They'll know.

This "culinary hobbiest (love that term)" will certainly try to visit.

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Really fun seeing the photos.  So does "the business" include name, recipes, etc., in addition to goodwill?  In short, everything?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I have an exception list and its stuff like my knives and equipment that most people wouldn't have any use for like my chocolate equipment, but yes, name, reputation, recipes, a few weeks training with me and a fully functioning kitchen.

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Have any of your staff members offered to stay with the new owners, or are they already looking up potential jobs.  Of course, the new owners may just want to get rid of everyone and hire their own staff, or even keep employees on and then as soon as they're of  no further use to the new owner, dump them.  (One advantage of being a long term government drudge was that by the time they no longer wanted me, it would have taken too much time and effort to get rid of me,so they just had to wait it out until I no longer wanted to work for them, and retired.  From what Ive read on eGullet I never would have made it through 36 years in the food industry, probably not even 36 days)


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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I had a chance to talk to my ren faire acquaintance who lives in Sliver City and he and his wife do eat at your restaurant occasionally. He was aware that you will be closing - he brought it up.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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