Food, Words and Music

It’s good to be back.

I’ve been asked if I stopped writing my blog. The answer is no, I haven’t stopped. I’ve just been in a different movement in the rhythm of my year.

I finished up my second season of The Portico Experience a week ago. This has required my full attention, and my writing has been intentionally shelved until the fall and winter months when I have more time to devote to it. 

For those who are new to my blog, The Portico is my one-table-per-night micro-restaurant, served in my screened portico in my backyard. I created 71 unique experiences this year, from May to October.  I design the menu based on the season and a consideration for any dietary restrictions you may have. It’s typically a four-hour ordeal. But that time frame is usually a minimum.  It’s not uncommon for guests to stay longer. One great thing about this is the guest is never in a hurry, since I don’t have to turn that table for later. It’s one party per night, and it’s all yours as long as you like.

Fall sunlight dappled on the final table of the season

Now that the weather is turning, I, too, can turn my attention. It’s my objective to create a seasonal flow to my annual calendar. The Portico is a labor-intensive operation, and since I’m the only labor involved, it can be taxing. The stress is much lower and even though I am doing things here that I could have never done in the restaurant business, the workload is still similar, especially since I function as host, server, bartender, cook, dishwasher and owner. This means lots of hats to wear during that 4-hour excursion.

It’s my plan to operate The Portico Experience for six months and to focus on my writing the other six out of the year. I am in the process of publishing my second book, due out late November.  It’s a collection of my thoughts and poems that started as a writing practice on Instagram a year and a half ago. If you are unfamiliar with this element of my work, you can view it on my IG @chefkevinshinn.

The book is titled, Use Fewer Words. It came from this piece:

To be a better writer

Be more honest

Tomorrow

Than you were today

And use fewer words

Kevin Shinn

The inspiration of the thought came when I decided to withdraw from the playground that is Twitter and take my toys and go elsewhere. It became too negative for me. But I liked the initial parameters of Twitter, to use 140 characters to speak your piece, and leave it at that. 

I took to my typewriter with the same restrictions. Could I say something that matters in a few lines on a manual, analog machine and integrate it into the digital environment? I was going to find out.

I regularly posted my thoughts as an exercise. I wasn’t thinking it would turn into a book. I was only trying to improve my writing skill. Eventually, the questions started appearing:

“Are you saving all those?” 

“Are you going to make something out of all those?” 

“I hope you turn those into a book.”

I took that feedback as good advice and started the process a couple of months ago. I will share the details here about when the book will be available and how to purchase one.

575 entries and counting…

Regarding The 2022 season for The Portico Experience, I plan to begin taking reservations in March. If you are not on my mailing list, you can enter your email address here and you’ll get information about that in advance. Kevin’s Email List.

It’s good to be back writing again. Let’s see where it goes this time around.

Make room. Don’t hold back.

Chef Kevin

2 thoughts on “Food, Words and Music”

  1. You are a very impressive person. I love the one table guest idea. If I went I would want it catered so you could sit with me and we could spend the hours catching up and getting to know each other again.
    Best to you my friend!

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