Bouchon Bakery Review: Chocolate thingy from Bouchon

Bouchon Bakery Review: Chocolate thingy from Bouchon

Part of me wants to really just take this blog in a new direction. I want to make it more personal and focus less on food. It might seem humorous to some of you that a food blog could get any less about food than this particular one. By any definition, I live a good life. My apartment has electricity and heat. It’s got cable TV. I can spend free time watching NBA playoffs. Spending a little money on food for the blog isn’t outside of my budget. And especially compared with living standards of all the six and a half billion people, I, like most folks in the U.S., have it good. There’s a part of me that wonders about if there is better though. This blog has probably gone as far as it could under the current structure. To make it better I would have to hustle hard and self-promote. And if you read Wesley Yang’s most recent article in NYMag, you would know that’s hard for an Asian! But I’m generally of the belief that creme rises to the top, so if this blog has gone as far as it could, it’s limiting factor is obvious, it’s me. When I look around in the food world to see chefs with expanding empires talk about seeing the big picture and striving for excellence, I realize that my blog simply doesn’t reflect the world that I wish to cover. Take this chocolate thingy I got from Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center. One – I don’t know the name of it. Two – I don’t know how much it cost, although my Chink brain thinks it was around $3.80 after taxes. What kinda food blogger am I?!

Let’s talk about Bouchon Bakery for one minute though. They’re opening a new store in the Rockerfeller Center, which would be Thomas Keller’s second Bouchon Bakery in New York City. Generally the prices at BC are too inflated for me. Their treats are very well crafted though. Keller has been quoted before to say that many of the treats there are simply things he likes to eat. So if he likes to eat what is essentially a flaky chocolate-creme-filled eclair, then I’m down with that. If you share this with someone else, your experience with the chocolate thingy would be too brief. Eating one alone might be richness overkill, but sometimes you owe that to yourself. Life passes by too fast and chocolate slows it down for you. Eat it as you walk through Central Park and try not to let the pollen attack you. It’ll be grand.

Back to being a food blogger. So the idea is whether I should even keep doing it after the domain expires. Goddamn it, I renewed it last year for three more years! But the web hosting expires before 2012! See in sports sometimes there’s this phrase called, “Stay your lane.” Self explanatory but in sports, this just means do something at which you excel. An expert three-point shooter who lacks dribbling skills shouldn’t try to break down the defense in the lane. Instead, he should catch and shoot, and not miss so much. In 2011, this guy was James Jones of Miami Heat. There was a stat this year that said over 95% of his shots were taken without a dribble, which meant that someone threw him the ball and he jacked it up. And that no one else took as high of a percentage of shots without dribbling. That’s a guy who stays his lane. He does well. Should I stay my lane?

The other school of thought is based on this book I started reading that basically says IQ is a process, and that inherent talent is really bogus. Talent is taught. What does this mean? Let’s take David Chang as an example. He has often mentioned that he played juniors golf, and that he trained all the time, but he saw guys like Tiger just dominate. Well, Tiger also played all the time and might have started playing before David did. The most important idea (based on what I’m reading about targeted practice) is that Tiger Woods got more out of his training than most players. David Chang stopped playing golf and later became a restaurant mogul who’s in charge of some badass restaurants. So even though his love of golf and his practice couldn’t take him where he wanted to go, his love of food and his practice there took him to the top of the food game. Let’s remember that for a minute.

See food is one thing… and David Chang started relatively young when he opened Momofuku Noodle Bar. But when we look at the examples in the sporting world, the margin of error one can have between making it and not making it takes years of hard work. Even Michael Jordan couldn’t go from dominating the NBA to making it in professional baseball. If you’re on one track in sports, you stay on that track and hope to succeed. If you don’t, then trying another sport is impossible. However you could walk away from juniors golf and fifteen years later open, what turns out to be, one of many restaurants. How should regular people do it?

If training and practice and hard work is what it takes to “make it”, then it opens up a whole world of possibilities. The one catch is, you don’t know how much training it takes. As MJ found out about baseball, it takes more than just being a supremely gifted athlete and one year of training. At 29, my ability to do grind it out work probably is not the same as it was ten years ago. Also, I know that really successful entrepreneurs often start up a ton of companies before (if they’re lucky), getting a big success. Now I’ve narrowed the key elements to three things… One – pick someone I love and work super hard. Two – hope that what I pick doesn’t take decades of practice and hard work to come to fruition. Three – have realistic exit strategy and know after a short while whether it’s the right move, otherwise repeat steps One and Two.

Number Three is also know as the ‘try lots of things’ rule. What I see is that people my age and older just don’t blog all that much. There is no future in blogging unless you know your exit strategy. Do you want to be the next Eater or Grub Street? Do you want a book deal? Do you want to be a professional writer? I haven’t worked as hard as possible on this blog, and it probably is a signal that I don’t love it enough. I just don’t know what is next.

Bouchon Bakery10 Columbus Circle.New York, NY 10019212-823-9366

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