It didn't hurt standing in line for 2+ hours outside Stew Leonard's in Danbury to meet Chef Michael Symon. Traffic caused him to be close to an hour late and the line of people standing, wrapped around the building in the heat certainly soured the mood. But all was forgiven after Michael asked how you were. I'm happy to report he's the gregarious culinary genius he appears on TV.
With a Chowdafest presentation in hand, I took a chance hoping I could leave it with him to see if he might be interested in being a part of Chowdafest. It's absolutely perfect for him. His passion for food and football is like wine & cheese - made for each other. I have no idea if the deck will be read (a good read for the ride back to NYC) but it he's the genuine article he appears, I feel he'll at least respond one way or the other.
Can you imagine if Cleveland Brown fan (you can't escape being from Ohio and not be one) at the 'SOUP'er Bowl? OK, maybe you're like me and still stuck on the Browns. I tell you what Michael - I have a Brown's helmet given to me by Art Modell himself (before the move) and I'll be happy to award it to you if you come (like he's reading this block right).
Anyway, we can dream for now and it was fun to meet him! Oh, his book? I was impressed. His style of writing was as carefree and casual as the easy to fix and mouth watering recipes in it. I would head to the bookstore and grab a copy of "5 in 5" - five minute meals using 5 key ingredients and start cooking!
Jim Keenan: Creator and Chief Chowda-head.