I've always had trouble with holidays. I don't like the pressure, the expectations; I'm just bad at them. One of the many reasons I took such comfort in the restaurant business was because holidays really didn't exist within its cloisters. Cooks cook while the rest of the world celebrates — that's the general rule. But more than that, the kitchens I knew were places of routine, of day-in, day-out sameness where any alteration in the trusted order of things was met with suspicion or true superstitious fright. Holidays represented change, and change was always bad. In the kitchen, nothing ever changed for the better. There were no abatements, stays, raises or sudden happy miracles. There was only entropy — the slow, steady collapse toward utter chaos — and we kept fighting for stasis, for calm and order and efficiency, through obsessive planning,... More >>>