Posts tagged randy clemens

I choo choo choose you

Choosing Myself

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I choo choo choose youA thousand pardons… you’ve caught me in the middle of a quandary.

Though I suppose the same sentiment could be expressed at any given time. I’m finding that I’m a very cerebral person, for better or for worse. Am I on track to become one of those tortured writers? Maybe. But I don’t think so. I think I’m pretty happy, but I suppose it could be interesting to see if I go downhill from here. I honestly don’t think I will, though.

So, here’s what I’m up against… I feel like I’m at a precipice. Like this is the point where I decide if I want to be a writer or if I simply want to write. Perhaps that sounds douchey to you; to be honest, I’d venture to say that it would sound douchey to me if I read it on someone else’s webpage. But here I am… trying to deliver a message that doesn’t particularly have a message behind it. Simply that I’m going to actually be a writer.

But I’m already a writer, you might say. Technically, yes. I write. And I have written. And I’m fortunate enough to have gotten paid for said writing. But even still… it’s very strange. (Rest assured, this is no complaint. I’m unbelievably grateful for any and all opportunities I’ve been given!) Have you ever heard of impostor syndrome? So sayeth Wikipedia:

The impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

My buddy Tim originally told me about it when he first began teaching music classes; as a lifelong student, it was difficult for him to accept a new role as a teacher. “But isn’t this what you prepared for?” Yeah, I suppose. I mean, I’ve been writing now for close to a decade, but I didn’t ever think it would be something I’d call a profession. Yet, here I am, collecting a comfy little check for royalties on three cookbooks every six months. What do I do with that? I mean, duh, it goes in the bank… but what does it mean?

Elementary school lead me to middle school, which prepared me for high school, which was hellbent on getting me into college, which in turn would assure me a job in the system. Something to keep the wheels turning at the prescribed time. But I knew deep down that I wasn’t built for such a job. So here I am, having built a sizeable enough reputation for my writing, but still unable (or unwilling) to accept myself as a professional writer. What’s not professional about me? Is it the fact that I still tell/enjoy dick and fart jokes? Or that I don’t take every single thing seriously? Break it down, Randy. You get paid to write. Someone somewhere enjoys your writing, and more importantly, YOU enjoy writing. And what’s more important than that?

WRITE. Never stop writing. When you look back on the past NINE years that you’ve been writing, all the while, you’ll find supporters along the way, and at this point, it bears asking: “What the hell have you been waiting for?!” Obviously, there’s at least one person that sees things your way. And judging by your own reading habits, it bears mentioning that your entire worldview has been entirely uplifted and changed for the better by reading other peoples’ writing. So why can’t your writing provide the same opportunity for others? It’s obvious that you think differently than most, so share that shit. Sorry if this sounds pompous, but this is what’s been going through my head for the past few weeks/months/years, and I’m finally taking the time to scribble it down in a massive stream-of-consciousness dump.

So what am I going to do? Well, perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve already started posting one recipe a week that I create spontaneously from a farmers market visit; I’m also going to try to post a recipe review from a different cookbook each week, and I’ll hopefully have some kind of mental outpouring such as this. And maybe you’re thinking: “What’s the big deal? Share what’s on your mind! It’s your blog!” But reflecting on my upbringing, I feel as though I was raised to be polite… maybe even slightly complacent… unless I felt there was some kind of injustice going on. And even then, I was only to speak up if I felt there was some difference I could make.

Sounds awfully arbitrary, no? I agree. So, am I reactionary or am I proactive? Shit, I don’t know. What kind of question is that? I’m just me. Yet through whatever extraordinary set of circumstances, there are a number of people that look to what I say as guidance. And whether that number is one or one million, it’s a number, and I need to treat that with the utmost of respect. Rest assured that nothing I post here will ever be facetious or contrary to my personal moral compass/beliefs. I’ll continue cranking out recipes and the occasional mental unload… and while you may or not agree or like what I have to say, know that I’m only sharing it because I felt as though by not posting it, I was disrespecting my reason for living. I want to be a writer… so I’ve chosen myself because nobody else would.

I accept this responsibly proudly and humbly, and assure you that I’ll never do anything to betray your trust. Anything I present to you that may seem insensitive or unintelligent, I assure you, comes from a place of love and perhaps misunderstanding. I guarantee I’ll be misinformed at times, as any of us would be, if only because we’ve never experienced anywhere near all there is to experience. With that in mind, I hope you treat my thoughts, and your own, as an exchange of possibilities. There may or may not be a grand architect that rules this universe, but in case one does, I’m keeping it civil… sharing my ideas in the hopes of having them corroborated or improved or disproven. Whatever the case may be, I’ll die knowing I spoke my mind and instigated a conversation. There are some crazy ideas in my brain that I sincerely hope will bring about positive change in our world… and I’ll share them soon enough, but for now… you’ve been warned. I’m gonna be speaking my mind on this website from time to time.

Unsubscribe… or forever hold your peace.

L.A. Sriracha Festival event information

The 1st Annual L.A. Sriracha Festival

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L.A. Sriracha Festival event information

 

Yes, it’s true! I’m putting together a Sriracha Festival in downtown Los Angeles with my good friend Joshua Lurie from FoodGPS.com!

The 1st Annual L.A. Sriracha Festival is taking place on Sunday, October 27, from 3 pm to 6 pm at LOT 613 in the downtown L.A. Arts District. This chef-driven, all-inclusive, 21+ event spotlights the world’s most iconic hot sauce in a casual industrial setting. Multiple stations allow guests to enjoy a variety of Sriracha themed dishes, including desserts, at their own pace. Local craft beer, cocktails, and sodas help tame the heat while a live DJ set helps create a fun and unforgettable food and drink experience.

Some of L.A.’s best chefs and restaurants participating in this year’s event include:

  • Wesley Avila— Guerrilla Tacos — “Best Tacos in LA Under $10”, Time Out LA (2013)
  • Nadav Bashan — Bashan — “Most Underrated Restaurant in LA”, Eater
  • Neal Fraser — BLDFritzi DogICDC, Redbird at VibianaThe Strand House Top Chef: Masters (Season 5)
  • Gabe Gordon — Beachwood BBQ & Brewing — “Best Brewpub in Southern California”, RateBeer.com (2013)
  • Eric Greenspan — The Foundry on MelroseGreenspan’s Grilled CheeseThe Roof on Wilshire — Iron Chef: AmericaThe Next Iron Chef
  • Tai Kim — Scoops — ”10 Best Ice Cream & Gelato Shops” (#8), LA Weekly (2011)
  • Esdras Ochoa & Javier Fregoso — Mexicali Taco & Co. — “The Best Tacos in Los Angeles”, laist (2013)
  • Christian Page — Short Order — “5 Reasons to Get Out and Explore LA”, Bon Appetit (2012)
  • Tui Sungkamee & Jazz Singsanong — Jitlada — Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants (#9), LA Weekly’s 99 Essential Restaurants (2013)
  • Chloe Tran & John Vu Cao — East Borough — “One Perfect Day in Costa Mesa,” Sunset Magazine, opening restaurant in Culver City
  • Ernesto Uchimura Plan Check Kitchen + Bar — “Chef of the Year”, Los Angeles Magazine (2012) — also featuring a cocktail from Matthew Biancaniello

Beverages

To drink, Eagle Rock BreweryBeachwood BBQ & Brewing, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will be pouring craft beers throughout the event. Inventive bartenders Josh Goldman (Soigné Group) and Matthew Biancaniello are serving creative cocktails in the main festival area and at the Plan Check Bar booth, respectively. Los Angeles Ale Works has created artisan ginger ale (with or without Sriracha!), Pure Water of Los Angeles is providing beyond-green purified water from their water systems.

Sponsors

Huy Fong Foods, Inc. has generously come on board as a presenting sponsor. David Tran, founder of Huy Fong Foods and mastermind behind their Sriracha, will be making a rare, special appearance at the event. Uber is offering festival guests a free ride valued at up to $20 for first time users, and Ten Speed Press is giving a copy of The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook to all VIP guests.

Charity

A portion of proceeds from the L.A. Sriracha Festival will directly benefit Food Forward; a North Hollywood-based charity whose mission is to rescue and donate fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste. Over 1.6 million pounds of food has been gleaned since 2009, which goes to local food pantries, helping feed over 40,000 hungry Southern Californians each month.

Ticket Information

General Admission tickets are $49 per person in advance, and $59 per person at the door, if still available. Tickets are all-inclusive, and enable attendees to sample freely from all food and drink vendors as they please.  Tickets are only available for people 21+.

VIP Tickets for the event are $80 in advance, and $90 per person at the door, if available. They include reserved seating, one-hour early admission from 2 pm to 3 pm, and a signed copy of The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. Tickets are only available for people 21+ and are for sale exclusively at LAsrirachafestival.nightout.com.

Parking

Valet parking is available at nearby 619 Imperial Street for $10 per car, and free street parking is also an option.

Location

LOT 613, 613 Imperial Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90021,www.lot613.com

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About The Sriracha Cookbook: Randy Clemens released The Sriracha Cookbook in January 2011, incorporating his favorite hot sauce in 50 unique recipes. The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook recently launched in July 2013 with an additional 50 recipes, all plant-based in nature.

About Food GPS:  Josh Lurie founded Food GPS in 2005. Since then, his Los Angeles-based website has remained dedicated to pinpointing the highest quality, best-tasting food and drink, regardless of price or cuisine, and sharing stories of people behind the flavor. Food GPS, Inc. also produces unique culinary events.

FOLLOW THE 1st ANNUAL L.A. SRIRACHA FESTIVAL UPDATES ON:

Facebook: facebook.com/TheSrirachaCookbook | facebook.com/foodgps

Twitter: @SrirachaBook | @foodgps

Instagram:  instagram.com/foodgps

Hashtag: #SrirachaFest

The Veggie-Lover's Sriracha Cookbook

The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook: Now Available

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The Veggie-Lover's Sriracha CookbookIt’s still a little surreal to get to announce that my third book, The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook, is now available on better bookstore shelves everywhere. It seemed to be the natural progression, since I went vegetarian a little over three years ago, and my love of Sriracha certainly hasn’t died down in the slightest bit. All the recipes are vegan, but it isn’t chock full of gross fake meat soy nugget crap. Nay! This is an ode to the almighty vegetable! Stuff from the earth. It isn’t just for vegans or vegetarians; it’s for anyone looking to incorporate a little more produce into their diet without skimping on flavor.

My third book… it sounds crazy to think it, let alone say it. It’s hard to believe that my first little restaurant review for the now-defunct Sherman Oaks Sun newspaper back in May 2005 would become the genesis for hundreds of magazine pieces, ultimately encouraging me to pitch The Sriracha Cookbook to Ten Speed Press back in October 2009. (more…)

Barleywine history article preview

Barleywine Article in Edible Westside magazine

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Edible Westside Winter 2012 issue -- Barley wine article by Randy ClemensThis post is gonna have to be filed in the “better late than never” department, since it’s announcing the article I wrote on barleywines for the Winter 2012 issue of Edible Westside magazine. (Y’know, the one that came out way back in December?)

Well, needless to say, it’s been a busy few months for me. It’s been so long since I’ve updated my personal blog here that I’ve failed to mention that I recently become the Associate Digest Editor for Los Angeles magazine and that my next book—The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook is finally at the printer and is due out in July!! So, yes, it’s been busy.

But I digress. Writing my quarterly beer piece for Edible Westside has been a sincere pleasure, and I’ve loved watching this publication grow. Four issues strong, and no signs of slowing down. This time, I wanted to cover one of the heartier craft beer styles I know and love: barleywines. Not only are they delicious, they’ve got a wealth of historical significance, not to mention a healthy dose of confusion surrounding their name.

Barleywine: is it a wine made from barley? A beer mixed with wine? A strange hybrid thereof…or something else entirely? (more…)

Edible Westside Fall 2012 issue

Golden Coast Mead in Edible Westside magazine

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Edible Westside Fall 2012 issue

Click the gorgeous cover to read my article on mead, honey.

As Edible Westside releases its third issue, I continue to beam with pride. While it’s certainly not my magazine (that honor belongs to the uber-talented publisher/dear friend Linzy May Mahoney), getting to write articles about beer since it got started has been both exciting and educational. And it seems like each issue gets better and better; the newly released Fall 2012 issue being no exception.

For my part, I got to contribute a piece about one of my favorite guilty pleasures: mead. As friends can attest, I’ve had a love affair with mead ever since I brewed my first batch back in 2006. Now charged with writing an article about it, I went looking for local mead makers, but found myself coming up dry. By a stroke of luck, I was hanging out with my friends Mike and Ryan from the awesome San Diego beer publication, West Coaster SD, and they suggested I check out some guys from Golden Coast Mead that were looking to open their own place via a Kickstarter campaign. Sweet!

Interviewing one of the co-founders, Frank Golbeck, I became fascinated by his passion and worldview, and knew I had what I needed to make this article shine. So, if you’re interested in learning more about mead—its interesting origins, its flavor profiles, and the endless possibilities it holds—check out my article in the digital edition of Edible Westside. (And dig those awesome illustrations by my good friend/local beer darling Cambria Griffith!)

You can read my Golden Coast Mead article online or seek out a free physical copy at one of the many distribution spots across LA’s Westside. And do keep your eyes peeled in early December for the upcoming Winter 2012 issue; I’ve got a tasty article on barleywines up my sleeve! Cheers!

To keep up on all things awesome in between quarterly issues:
 Like Facebook.com/EdibleWestside
 Follow @EdibleWestside on Twitter

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