Food — By Crust on January 24, 2010

I left Coi a week early so I could stage at Ubuntu in Napa. While I was at Ubuntu Kyle was at Redd. I had a gut feeling that I couldn’t leave California without seeing something else. It was really risky telling Coi I wanted to leave early. I wasn’t sure if they were going to blackball me from the industry for not staying true to my word of a full month stage. It is a very small scene out here and I didn’t know what to say to them. I told them I spent all the money I have in this world to get to Cali and that financially it doesn’t make sense for me to work for free for the entire month and that I’m going to have to leave early. I said, “I’m not and extern living off student loans, I’m a poor cook trying to find my place in Cali before I run out of money.”

They did not seem happy and I felt like such a bag of shit. I didn’t know what else to say or do. I didn’t want to just stay there if I wasn’t sure I wanted to work there. I only have limited time and money and I needed to find a place that I was thrilled about. Coi was so cool and I learned a lot and I want to be true to my word, but I had eaten at Ubuntu and my heart told me to go there.

The chef at Ubuntu came into Coi to eat and he got the regular menu and at the end he came back to the kitchen and shook every cooks hand and thanked them. That made an impression on me, so on my day off Kyle and I went to Ubuntu to eat and the chef recognized me as the stage from Coi and sent us four extra courses. It was so good, he gave me his number and email and told me to call him for a job if I move back. I emailed him soon after asking for a stage.

It was a very tough choice, but I had to do what I had to do. There were some other things that also pushed me to go. One of the cooks mentioned that when he had time off from Coi that he wanted to stage at Ubuntu, and that made me so jealous. I thought if I want to go there that bad I should just go, not stay here and be jealous of someone else for going. Also another cook was leaving Coi because his visa had run out and he found a place that would sponsor him. That means that they don’t help with visas. Blah blah blah, I was unsure about my decision and was depressed for a couple of days, thought I was blackballed from further stages and then the chef at Ubuntu called me. I had a good last week.


  1. The Other Mom says:

    Sounds like you did the right thing. It is very important in life to stick to commitments as much as possible but sometimes you need to do what is best for you. It is apparent that you realize that people should not take their commitments lightly just in the fact that you struggled with your decision to leave early. If you weren’t a stand up person you would not have cared.

    Once again, I’m proud of you.

  2. mum says:

    It looks like quite a long commute to get to work! We went to Auntie Leda’s celebration of life and had a great day with her son’s and their better halfs… Jane Catterson is my cousin Kevin’s wife and she works in Seattle and San Francisco, so she may be dropping in at Ubuntu and giving you something from me.

  3. Tamara says:

    So glad things are looking up. Your time in SF looks beautiful and I’m jealous of the nice looking weather.

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