An open letter to the person who set me on the path to my future…
Recently, i had the good fortune to publish a book with my friend Paul Wagtouicz. In the book we both thanked our parents and dedicated the book to them. I thank my parents for everything from clean underwear, to dinner every night and an annual trip to Disney World. All of the things they gave me, set me on my way in the world.
Flash forward to college, where i was a student at Parsons School of Design. The person who was then my professor, became my mentor. Her name is Barbara Bordnick. I went on not only to learn almost everything i know know about business and professional practices from her, but i also went on to assist her for a decade. Barbara gave me everything. How to write an invoice, how to push a roll of E-6, how to light a face (no matter how beautiful or unfortunate!) and how to succeed in business with a strong work ethic and an even better creative one. She also was a person who helped me become a teacher at Parsons myself and to teach the very class she instructed me in.
Barbara is also a friend. She is the person i still look to today for answers regarding life, love, work, and happiness in general. She is the person in my adult life who has helped me the most, given me the most, and without doubt guided me the most. The things that i have, the person that i am, and the goals i’ve achieved have all been realized in-part, through her presence, her friendship and her mentorship.
Today, Barbara sent me this simple sentence (which i hope she doesn’t mind me repeating)
“You were my exceptional student, an exceptional assistant and the most exceptional of all, now my friend.
I have absolutely no shame in telling you, i’ve been sitting here with an open laptop, kind just staring at that email for the last half hour, completely unable to stop a large amount of salty tears from streaming down my face.
What do you say when the person who pretty much taught you everything you know gives you the green light of life and says “ready or not, you’ve finally arrived!” I guess there’s only one thing i can do which is to say, Thank you for everything Barbara. You’ve been an incredible inspiration to myself, my career and my life. I look forward to toasting not just our upcoming book (to which Ms. Bordnick is a contributor), but to each of our continued success stories as well.
if you’re not familiar with Barbara’s work, she’s a trailblazer for women, photographers and artists in general.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Mantoani
Spending the day with Tasting Table, Williams Sonoma, and the dashing Jonah Kim, Executive Chef at Pabu!
i had a really great time in Curaçao!
Good times in Miami with Chef Bradley Herron… An incredibly nice guy, with an equally incredible CAULIFLOWER RECIPE!
Spending some quality kitchen time with a few of my favourite people… Saveur Magazine , Anna Stockwell + Gail Zweigenthal! I find her character, her story and her love of food and life very, very inspirational…