The Choices We Make
It’s funny, maybe terrifying when you think how the choices you make now affect your life in the future. “Long and treacherous is the path of the straight and narrow.”
When I was 20 the 1989 economy was going south, especially where I grew up in Massachusetts. Tourism wasn’t that big out there except for pockets like Cape Cod and such. Restaurants were closing left and right. I had developed some really close connections, one being with Kent Bacon. I had worked with him in Massachusetts at a restaurant on a lake. He’s a Korean adoptee that reconnected with his biological mother in Hawaii, he was my first experience with Asian culture, the first that would turn out to be many. So my high school buddy, Mark and I decided to take the plunge as the options became less and less for me in MA. We moved to Oahu seeking a grand adventure with Kent and Janice’s (his wife’s) help. We had nothing to lose! Mark and I sold our cars, saved a few grand and left.
When I was young planning for the future wasn’t a consideration. Little did I know how the decisions I was making would shape the rest of my life. All I could see is the love of cooking; cooking, and cooking and learning. Everything else was secondary.
All that changed when I met my wife. She is the consummate chess player, seeing ten years ahead into every decision. She’s taught me that bad decisions now have effects for a decade down the road, and so do smart ones. Being in the restaurant business, she understood the erratic schedule I had. She’s my consigliore, accountant, best friend, a great wife and mother – the total package! Support is key to a successful relationship and that’s especially true in the restaurant industry. It’s hard to imagine life not having met her. She’s opened my eyes to the value of taking a closer look at things. My wife has had my back 100% since day one and it’s empowered me with a feeling of confidence in my career and self. When I took my first sous chef job at Roy’s in Poipu, I told her that I’d have to move even though we just met. She said “I’ll go with you then” dropping her higher paying job and leaving friends and family behind. We married on Kauai that year… That was the beginning of many great choices, together.