Tony-

This week marks 13 years since my mother died. Both of my parents are gone, but you wouldn’t know it from meeting me. I rarely talk of my parents; not consciously, but it’s not a subject of conversation that lends itself to colloquial interaction.

“Hi, I’m Bob”

“Hi Bob, I’m an orphan”

…doesn’t roll off the tongue.

They say of loss that time heals all wounds, but I’m telling you right now that is utter horse shit. Time doesn’t heal a damned thing… it makes you forget about the scar in it’s wake, the hole in your heart, the feeling of missing parts. One day, you’ll be walking through life, and then there it is. Plain as day, shiny and raw in the light. No one sees it, though. Only you notice it. And for a brief moment, you remember the sting.

You get yanked back, tossed into your past self for a moment, sometimes longer. It is the only proven form of time travel, grief. You are back in your dorm room in your slippers and robe, 18 years old, making Mac n cheese in your popcorn grease-soaked microwave and get a call.

“The chaplain said Mom isn’t doing well,” your father says. She’s been in the hospital since Friday. She was placed into sedated detox. It’s now Wednesday. You beg him to call as soon as he and your sister know what’s wrong.

He promises.

You hang up.

An hour passes.

You shove salty orange noodles around a plastic cup in time, listening to mindless chatter in the hallways, some music popular at the time, and the thump of your own heart in your chest. Finally, you reach your threshold- you try your sister’s phone.

She picks up immediately. She says nothing.

“Emily, what’s wrong? What’s going on.”

Silence

A brief sniff.

“Talk to Dad”

A shuffle. The phone changes hands. Silence.

“Dad, what’s wrong.”

A bigger sniff.

A sob.

“She’s dead, Julie.”

A guttural sob.

“She’s dead.”

You scream.

No.

No.

This… no.

You hang up the phone.

You run into the dorm hallway. You scream louder, nonsense at first, then only the words “no” and “mom”.

The screams don’t sound like they are coming from your body.

Girls spill from their rooms like beer foam over a pint glass. You manage to tell one girl that your mother died. She spreads the news in hushed tones among the crowd. You remember no words after that, just collapsing. You fold, heaped into a lump of confusion and pain on the scratchy carpet while strangers comfort you.

You will remember none of their names.

You call your best friend. She comes and gets you. You go to a mutual friend’s house. They make you pasta with pepperoni. You eat none of it. They put on the movie Robots.

You will never watch that movie again.

You call your mom’s phone. You listen to her voicemail.

Your uncle picks you up from college to take you home the next day.

The memorial is awkward. You stand by the closed casket and talk to people. Some of them you know, some are familiar, but distant, some are total strangers. The same script plays out over and over and over and over. While grief is a stabbing, stinging pain, mourning is Chinese water torture- annoying, repetitive, monotonous, as thin a feeling as water rolling down your cheek.

You grow tired of being by the casket. You sit down. You read the guestbook. You talk to your mom’s best friend.

You sing at your mother’s funeral. You carry her casket to the hearse.

You eat cold cuts in the church’s preschool.

People mention seeing a crow outside the memorial, by the church the funeral was held, and now at your uncle’s house.

You think it is nothing.

You look at baby pictures with your last living grandparent, your mother’s mother.

She dies 4 years later.

Your dad dies before that, a year and 4 months after your mother, almost to the day; 10 days after your mother would have turned 51. He has a stroke one week after your mother died. Your mom dies one week before Thanksgiving. The timeline confuses you, but you know it by heart. It’s carved there.

Tony, I know you’re gone. I know my mom is gone, and my dad is gone, along with all of my grandparents and an uncle. I have grieved, angered and accepted long before typing this letter. Time passed and the scar tissue is still thick and rough. It pulls at my current life, given strain to everything and everyone I encounter…

it didn’t just scar me, it maimed me.

Nothing was spared from it’s wake- my mental health, my relationships, both romantic and platonic, work associations, conversations with strangers about things their parents do.

The rest of my life, whether I remember it or not, I am marked. The game now is to see how long I can go before the light hits the damage just right…

November 16th will mark 13 years since Maureen Helen Cleary Birnstein took her last breath.

And tonight, I see every scar as if the wound was just made.

JB

Guest post Part 2 of 2: Adriane Hoff, practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I’ll never forget the shock and heartbreak I felt when I woke up that morning and read that you had died. Like so many others, I appreciated the way you showed us the cultures of the world in such a dignified way. And as a fellow jiu jitsu practitioner, I felt a deep loss of one of my idols in that sport.

I got into jiu jitsu later in life. There have been plenty of times when I felt like I got started too late. I constantly get smashed by younger players who are stronger, faster, and naturally more athletic than me. But then I’d remember that you got started in life much later than I did. And you were still a badass at the sport into your 60’s.

Everyone’s jiu jitsu journey is different, and we all set out to achieve different goals. For me, I currently have no intention to compete. My goals on the mat are to get stronger, more confident, and more patient with every class, and then take those lessons and apply them to my every day life. And like you, I use jiu jitsu as a tool to help me break bad habits. Instead of staying up late trying to find the bottom of a bottle of Irish whiskey and spending the next day nursing a hangover, I choose to go to bed early and spend the next day training.

Thank you for your inspiration, Tony.

Guest post Part 1 of 2: Adriane Hoff, practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I’ve been having a hard time with jiu jitsu lately. Ever since someone violated me as I stood in a crowd, I haven’t been able to deal with being in such close space with someone.

I’ve tried to train twice since that day someone helped himself to my body, and with tragic results. I was still in shock the first day I trained. Luckily I was partnered with another woman, and one who I consider a dear friend. She noticed my energy was off that day, and my head space wasn’t as clear. The second day I tried to return to the mat, I broke down in tears when I was partnered with a man I never met before. He would have been a great partner on any other day, but I couldn’t deal with having a male stranger on such close space to me. I haven’t tried training since that day.

Tony, you were such a great ally to those who have been sexually assaulted or harassed. You went toe to toe with powerful men accused of such horrible acts, from Harvey Weinstein to Bill Clinton. You are an example of how men should support us. After all, silence and complacency is just as bad.

It’s been two weeks since my last training attempt and I finally feel like I may be ready to train again. I’m fortunate that I’ve had a great support system from my coaches and training partners. If it weren’t for them, I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable enough to go back to this sport.

And off the mat, I’ve had friends and allies help me through this tough time. Of course, there has been a small chorus of people in my life outside of jiu jitsu whose responses were inadequate or dismissive. Those responses—or lack thereof—have been more painful than the offending action itself. But the people standing with me have drowned out those voices. Tony, your outspoken voice denouncing predatory behaviors may have been what helped give those allies the courage they needed to support me. It breaks my heart that we no longer have you on the front lines with us. Your legacy of doing the right thing will remain. You helped give me hope throughout this ugly point in my life, and I appreciate that.

Spring break

Hey Tony,

So I left my chef gig. I drive for Lyft. And right now, it’s what I need.

You don’t know a city you live in until you really explore it. I’ve seen corners of this city in one week that I didn’t even know existed. I, naturally, have taken notes on all the restaurants I’ve dropped people at, taco stands drunks swear by, and bars I will never go to (who waits in line for beer?!). I’ve spent time with people I have missed. Taken drives I’ve longed for. Seen the sun set on the city I love and hate and cherish. I painted my nails. I slept. A lot. And I feel better.

Your absence made me realize that the kitchen isn’t where I wanted my time to go. I told you that a few weeks back. My passion is people- who they are, what they do, where they go. People, and their views on food and culture are what draw me in. Human stories, the small time I share with people while I get them where they need to go, make driving worth it. Shitty traffic means nothing if I take a night shift nurse to her first drink date with her girlfriend in months. Taking a psychologist to get fitted for a wedding tux make it worth while. Taking an artist stricken by a stroke and unable to draw to an art supplies store make it worth it. Getting a tourist to their hotel, while gushing about how nice people in LA really are… this is why driving makes me happy.

I don’t know what is next. But right now, I will take solace in helping LA people enjoy LA. It’s not perfect, but nothing is. I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about later, but this week, I’m just along for the ride.

-JB

Guest post: Chris Lewis “A Bowl of Fat, Gristle, and Sinew”

“Cooking… is a dominant act, at all times about control. Eating well on the other hand, is about submission.”

— Anthony Bourdain, Pure and Uncut Luxury

I don’t cook professionally. Not, at least, in the traditional sense of the word. I may spend a great deal of time developing recipes and writing about the rose-tinted romanticism of fine dining from the outside-looking-in, but I will never have been a member of the front line. I’ve never experienced the agony of being lost in the weeds, of backed up dish pits, of a plate returned for the third time—the bob-headed Karen at table 6 demanding that she knows a steak will become more tender the longer you grill it. The scrapes, the burns, worn out knees from ill-placed lowboys… these are not my burdens to bear for the benefit of hungry and often unappreciative stomachs. My clan of tattooed pirates welcome me as a friend but I will never be able to count myself among their ranks.

Something tells me that wouldn’t have mattered to you, Tony.

I found myself standing in the window of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant this evening, right on the edge of Chicago’s VietTown on Argyle. Bowls of pho dac biet, brimming with pearls of fat, floating on a sea of anise-spiked oxtail broth. Crisped hu tieu xao bo, vegetables shimmering in rendered fat and stock like jewels hidden under the greedy hoard of a waiting ogre. And I was transported: 20 years old, living in my first apartment—an unfairly small, garden-level unfit for the four cunts deigned to share the space. And there was Julie. My first roommate. We sat on our days off watching your adventures, Tony. Watching this foul-mouthed, leggy bastard galivant across the globe, we learned from you. I’ll never forget the rapture on your face as you devoured your first bowl of bun bo hue—a soup you considered the crest of a hierarchy of “delicious, slurpy stuff.” A perfect dish.

And I think… we all could use a bowl of soup tonight.

As a child, I was explained that grief, in all its forms, is nothing more than a bowl of soup. Piping hot, spoon half submerged, hidden by the murky weight of the vessel’s depth. And this grief, this pastiche of agony must be consumed by its recipient. And the manifold forms grief may take, there are an equal number of ways to drink. Some dive in head-long, foregoing formality, landing face first. They beg to finish their soup as quickly as possible, lapping the boiling liquid with a fervor unmatched by their pain. They emerge, burned. Red, tear-streaked faces hiding scorched throats and swollen tongues. The bowl empty to the chagrin of their wellbeing.

Others, yet, ignore the soup. “Oh, no, none for me,” they’ll dismiss. Surely a tastier entrée is available somewhere on the menu—perhaps some of that steak they’ve seen pass three times back to the kitchen? The foolhardy wait, trusting that eventually the bowl will be retired, soup discarded, the walls scraped clean. But everyone must eat. No one escapes this bowl of sinew, gristle, and fat. The foolish wait until the bowl has chilled, the soup congealed and hardened. Chunks of grey meat suspended in time. But ladle by resentful ladle, they will choke down the broth they’ve neglected.

The third… well the third enjoys. A melancholic Baby Bear, understanding that all things—even metaphorical soups—have their season. Sharing in the experience with others at the table—checking to ensure all are ready to eat before starting on their own. Measured spoonfuls, blowing carefully to check for temperature. Admiring the dish’s composition. They drink.

Does it need salt? Yes, I think so.”

“Perhaps some more time to cool,” their tongue twinging with the first sip. Enjoying the company a little longer, allowing the steam to dissipate. A gentle bell curve of consumption—a bit too hot to begin, the pleasure waning by the final, tepid bite.

There is no right or wrong way to eat this bowl of soup, Tony. But I think you knew that.

I trudged home, the rolling scent of coriander and lemongrass trapped in my throat, your journey to Vietnam well over a decade in the past. I opened the door to my new home, walking to the dining room. Fingers tracing along the seams of my dining table—a solid, beefy slab of butcher block. Room for eight. You taught me to be less afraid of my neighbors and soon this space will be used to honor that lesson. But first, chef, a dish to honor you.

My knives are lined up against the grain: chef’s, boning, and paring. Japanese steel with finicky edges, the sandscape of Damascus fading from overuse.

Mirepoix. The smell of my childhood. Acidic and sweet.

Roasted chicken. A litmus test of a cook’s skill. Fatty. Salty.

Oil. A small length of white twine wrapped around my finger soon to corset a bouquet garni to the stock.

Tonight, I’m making soup for you. This isn’t your bun bo hue, Tony, though I’m certain its flavor is familiar. The recipe is no family secret, written on spotted cardstock, hidden among my treasures. No, chef, this recipe is one of my own; a recipe built from the passion and love I learned as a child, watching you. Countless hours of joy followed by countless more clanging and banging around in my first apartment’s shithole kitchen, struggling to maintain temperature on an antient electric range; thrilled by the vitality that only cooking can bring to the soul.

Eating well, Tony, you’re right… is an act of true submission. You wanted so badly for chefs to learn to eat with their radars off, a willful submission to the palate of other cooks. You hoped we would learn from the humbling experience of witnessing food through another’s eyes. You made us less afraid of our differences and insisted that openness is just as vital to cooking as salt. So, tonight, we submit to ourselves. To our sorrow; steeping in the delicious melancholy of this universal dish with no written recipe.

My soup is nearly cold. The rim edged with remnant spices. Spoon clattering and scraping the bottom of the bowl, chasing around a final bite. Leaning back, I can see through my living room to the bookcase that holds my copies of your work. At the very edge of these books, I can see the simple, black spine of my very first kitchen notebook. Its pages are filled with recipe development notes, kitchen tricks, warnings, and fixes I learned as I first started my career. I don’t need to open it to know what’s scribbled in the inside cover:

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.

I’ll wait to finish this soup, Tony. Not because I can hardly bear the last sip but because there will be a time when I need this final spoonful to remember what you gave me.

Here’s to you, kid.

Reader Submission #2: Chris Lewis “A Bowl of Fat, Gristle, and Sinew”

“Cooking… is a dominant act, at all times about control. Eating well on the other hand, is about submission.”
— Anthony Bourdain, Pure and Uncut Luxury

I don’t cook professionally. Not, at least, in the traditional sense of the word. I may spend a great deal of time developing recipes and writing about the rose-tinted romanticism of fine dining from the outside-looking-in, but I will never have been a member of the front line. I’ve never experienced the agony of being lost in the weeds, of backed up dish pits, of a plate returned for the third time—the bob-headed Karen at table 6 demanding that she knows a steak will become more tender the longer you grill it. The scrapes, the burns, worn out knees from ill-placed lowboys… these are not my burdens to bear for the benefit of hungry and often unappreciative stomachs. My clan of tattooed pirates welcome me as a friend but I will never be able to count myself among their ranks.

Something tells me that wouldn’t have mattered to you, Tony.

I found myself standing in the window of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant this evening, right on the edge of Chicago’s VietTown on Argyle. Bowls of pho dac biet, brimming with pearls of fat, floating on a sea of anise-spiked oxtail broth. Crisped hu tieu xao bo, vegetables shimmering in rendered fat and stock like jewels hidden under the greedy hoard of a waiting ogre. And I was transported: 20 years old, living in my first apartment—an unfairly small, garden-level unfit for the four cunts deigned to share the space. And there was Julie. My first roommate. We sat on our days off watching your adventures, Tony. Watching this foul-mouthed, leggy bastard galivant across the globe, we learned from you. I’ll never forget the rapture on your face as you devoured your first bowl of bun bo hue—a soup you considered the crest of a hierarchy of “delicious, slurpy stuff.” A perfect dish.

And I think… we all could use a bowl of soup tonight.

As a child, I was explained that grief, in all its forms, is nothing more than a bowl of soup. Piping hot, spoon half submerged, hidden by the murky weight of the vessel’s depth. And this grief, this pastiche of agony must be consumed by its recipient. And the manifold forms grief may take, there are an equal number of ways to drink. Some dive in head-long, foregoing formality, landing face first. They beg to finish their soup as quickly as possible, lapping the boiling liquid with a fervor unmatched by their pain. They emerge, burned. Red, tear-streaked faces hiding scorched throats and swollen tongues. The bowl empty to the chagrin of their wellbeing.

Others, yet, ignore the soup. “Oh, no, none for me,” they’ll dismiss. Surely a tastier entrée is available somewhere on the menu—perhaps some of that steak they’ve seen pass three times back to the kitchen? The foolhardy wait, trusting that eventually the bowl will be retired, soup discarded, the walls scraped clean. But everyone must eat. No one escapes this bowl of sinew, gristle, and fat. The foolish wait until the bowl has chilled, the soup congealed and hardened. Chunks of grey meat suspended in time. But ladle by resentful ladle, they will choke down the broth they’ve neglected.

The third… well the third enjoys. A melancholic Baby Bear, understanding that all things—even metaphorical soups—have their season. Sharing in the experience with others at the table—checking to ensure all are ready to eat before starting on their own. Measured spoonfuls, blowing carefully to check for temperature. Admiring the dish’s composition. They drink.

Does it need salt? Yes, I think so.”

Perhaps some more time to cool” their tongue twinging with the first sip. Enjoying the company a little longer, allowing the steam to dissipate. A gentle bell curve of consumption—a bit too hot to begin, the pleasure waning by the final, tepid bite.

There is no right or wrong way to eat this bowl of soup, Tony. But I think you knew that.
I trudged home, the rolling scent of coriander and lemongrass trapped in my throat, your journey to Vietnam well over a decade in the past. I opened the door to my new home, walking to the dining room. Fingers tracing along the seams of my dining table—a solid, beefy slab of butcher block. Room for eight. You taught me to be less afraid of my neighbors and soon this space will be used to honor that lesson. But first, chef, a dish to honor you.

My knives are lined up against the grain: chef’s, boning, and paring. Japanese steel with finicky edges, the sandscape of Damascus fading from overuse.
Mirepoix. The smell of my childhood. Acidic and sweet.
Roasted chicken. A litmus test of a cook’s skill. Fatty. Salty.

Oil. A small length of white twine wrapped around my finger soon to corset a bouquet garni to the stock.

Tonight, I’m making soup for you. This isn’t your bun bo hue, Tony, though I’m certain its flavor is familiar. The recipe is no family secret, written on spotted cardstock, hidden among my treasures. No, chef, this recipe is one of my own; a recipe built from the passion and love I learned as a child, watching you. Countless hours of joy followed by countless more clanging and banging around in my first apartment’s shithole kitchen, struggling to maintain temperature on an antient electric range; thrilled by the vitality that only cooking can bring to the soul.

Eating well, Tony, you’re right… is an act of true submission. You wanted so badly for chefs to learn to eat with their radars off, a willful submission to the palate of other cooks. You hoped we would learn from the humbling experience of witnessing food through another’s eyes. You made us less afraid of our differences and insisted that openness is just as vital to cooking as salt. So, tonight, we submit to ourselves. To our sorrow; steeping in the delicious melancholy of this universal dish with no written recipe.

My soup is nearly cold. The rim edged with remnant spices. Spoon clattering and scraping the bottom of the bowl, chasing around a final bite. Leaning back, I can see through my living room to the bookcase that holds my copies of your work. At the very edge of these books, I can see the simple, black spine of my very first kitchen notebook. Its pages are filled with recipe development notes, kitchen tricks, warnings, and fixes I learned as I first started my career. I don’t need to open it to know what’s scribbled in the inside cover:

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.
I’ll wait to finish this soup, Tony. Not because I can hardly bear the last sip but because there will be a time when I need this final spoonful to remember what you gave me.

Here’s to you, kid.

Tony's Soup

Of course it’s your birthday…

I just took a big-ass leap of faith and it just so happens to be your birthday. The leap? In due time, but for right now, all you need to know is that I’m taking care of myself in a way I never have before and that, I believe, is a good way to celebrate.

You were our voice in life and in death, Tony. The good, the bad, the struggles, the celebrations- everything. We owe you the world for that.

Let’s just put it this way: I listened. Hard. I hope those struggling as I have were listening, too.

I’ll write again soon, but for now, I need to go enjoy this sunny day.

I wish you were here top enjoy it, too. HBD, Chef

-JB

 

Reader submission #1 -Kaci

Hey Chef.

I’ve been in the rut of this belly for 9 years; the burns, cuts, bruises, abuse, discrimation, and wrist injury hasn’t turned me away.

Being a mentor when I can and giving my all is what satifies half of me, and the other are the evenings when regulars who don’t know me come to the pass and say goodbye and thank you by my name.

Tonight, one of our pantry cooks flooded the kitchen because we didn’t have eyes on the drain catcher being so full of rice and as I’m clearing my tickets I hear him from a shaken voice on the verge of tears yell “Kaci, when you get a chance, can you help me?” I turned my head to see him with a mop in hand, incorrectly and desperately trying to soak up the flood of water. I busted up laughing and raced to the dish pit to grab the floor squeegee and the handle was broken off and the top was hanging from the ceiling pipes. As I proceeded to die of laughter, I grabbed the hand squeegee on my way back and started dragging the gallons of water into the drain. It took ten minutes. The walk-in water flooded too during a holiday weekend of all times. He was horrified and I couldn’t hold back how insanely funny the situation was. This was the Watergate situation, on top of the fall of the six banana cream pies in the walk in to which covered the place with pastry cream, and the saimin spill of 2018 that I helped clean.

I’ve been riding this kids ass for months, he’s so green and so young. He says I’m mean and I answer with each comment that I want him to be the best cook he can be. He respects me. It’s values the work I put in. That he relies on me as a teammate.

As I’ve been feeling burned out this weekend, this situation made me laugh so much and took that tension I’ve been feeling off my shoulders. It felt good that my young grasshopper turns to me for a hand.

I’m still so hurt by your passing, but I’ll keep pushing to be a great cook, and a better chef. I hope you were watching and laughing as much as I did tonight. Chef.

KG

Hey Bourdain…

You know I don’t want to be a chef, right?

Chef happened. It tumbled forth into my lap, looked at me with big eyes, did some circles, plopped down and started purring. It was an adorable idea. Really, it was. But once it started gnawing on my ankles, interrupting my sleep and personal time, ruining my clothes and making a general mess of things, it was a less attractive choice. The primrose path was gone, and in its wake, empty bottles of Tiger Balm Red, digestive support pills, and cheap heating pads. I’m 31. I’m missing a gallbladder. Tony, real talk, I’m an outpaced, outmatched, obsolete model of Chef. I wore out in the same way you did, just earlier and with exponentially less heroin and crack cocaine (READ: ZERO HEROIN OR CRACK COCAINE).

As I lay in bed, having worked a full day on a broken pinky toe (LA Pride did not disappoint, but the strap of my cheap heals did), I wonder… why am I still here? “Why am I still a chef?” is a phrase regularly internalized by this 10-year vet of the industry and I still have zero answers. Why work 12 hour days? Why never call in sick? Why break your body to make a meal that someone might send back because it got cold while they were taking pictures of the damned thing for Instagram? Some days, I find myself wishing I could firebomb the idea of brunch. Yet, every weekend, I suit up in an apron. I inundate my pores with the smell of bacon fat and red onion and gag on the astringent tang of cheap sparkling wine for what? A sense of purpose? Hospitality? Community? I mean, jeez, I wish it was community, but let’s be fair. It’s most likely the tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt I accrued earning a Bachelors of Science in Culinary Management. But, I digress.

I’m here because I thought it was what I wanted. It was for a while. Sometimes it still is. I fell in love with the idea of patrons being a scalable peak of service. The inevitable shuffle up made satisfying by the ability to slide back down… the flow, they call it.

But then, I noticed something. People at the tables were eating my food, and staring at phones. No talking. No eye contact. Vague smirks from content on screens, not flavors triggering memories or a dish reminding someone of an upbringing, a location, a person. It was fuel again. We back-slid. A pit stop. And in its core, that is an accurate definition. But humanity lost its love affair with tradition and history. No more were the days of families gathering at a table and sharing time together, and in were microwave meals over reality tv.

I can’t do it anymore, Anthony. I want to give people something that they have been missing for a long time: a visceral, tangible link to a shared past. I can’t do that stuck in a kitchen all day.

You tried it, too. You know how itchy you get when you’re stagnant, fetid, sinking in your own existence. You went to places people only associated with war. You asked hard questions, pushed your comfort zone and taught us about things gaining zero exposure elsewhere while doing so. You told that voice that said, “Stay put… nothing good out there” to suck it and got on rickety planes, smoky decommissioned military helicopters, and patchy, choppy boats to find the pulse of the planet.

That. That is what I want. I want to grab hearts and palpate them by feeding the desire to learn one’s own past. I want people to know what the first written recipe was. I want people to know why Filipinos and Spaniards share flavor palates. Why no one will EVER agree where noodles were created and how drunk goats led to my New Years Eve hangover.

We lost our cumulative identity and I feel like education and intersectionality is the only way to begin the repair. I don’t want to be a chef because I want to be an educator.

You helped me see that.

-JB

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