Over a year ago, when I legitimately started posting on stlbites.com, I’d made a comment that home cooks have a difficult time obtaining things like offal or quality meats that have never been frozen. What I received in response was an entirely unexpected email from Josh Galliano in which he suggested passionate home cooks team up with local chefs and restaurateurs to coordinate a purchase of whatever it is they’re hoping to cook. In his own words he felt it would be a big win “as far as building trust, building community economies, and getting more people interested in great food.” He extended to me–as he had for many of his patrons—an offer to help order anything I wanted. At the time, however, not a single customer had taken him up on this.
What that initial exchange turned into was a flurry of back and forth emails about the food topics most on our minds and, around Christmas, he sent me a particularly unusual email that stated:
“I ordered a batch of duck testicles that I thought you would be interested in trying… I’d like to share some with you.”
How I had become the one guy in
Throwing a brown paper bag at me, Josh raced all about the kitchen that day grabbing things and tossing them in as we discussed his charcuterie, the various things he was doing in the restaurant, his trip back home to
In the year I’ve known Josh this generosity has led me to all kinds of unforgettable experiences. I’ve been practically hazed into going to a chefs-only dinner at An American Place by him and Kevin Willmann. I’ve been served killingly large meals highlighted by weird animal parts. I’ve found my request to watch him and his cooks break down whole lambs result in a verbal “yes, come on Wednesday.” And then that Wednesday was met with a tour of the Renaissance Grand basement in search of a chef coat so that he could suit me up, hand me a knife, and force me to jump in and do it myself. It took me almost an hour to bone out a lamb neck and I enjoyed every hunched over minute of it—even if my back did not.
These are all things I’ve never talked about much on stlbites because somehow it seemed unfair. All this getting to know Josh and his generosity has obviously lent itself to a certain bias. Over time, however, I have found it’s a bias shared by people from all over the area because that’s just Josh. He’s an almost unnaturally nice guy and t
this makes me happy to announce what is for me the most exciting stlbites.com news since its inception. Many of you know only of Josh via his interesting posts on the stlbites forums and, my feeling they deserved a little more prominence, I recently asked Josh if he’d want to start a blog or, better still, blog here. Enthusiastically, he said yes, meaning now, whether it’s writing about a vegan meal he whipped up for Cat Cora or pressing apple cider with his family, his always interesting stories can be found right here on the main page.
With the decrease in my output these days I think I’ve got some stiff competition on my hands. Josh is far more interesting–not to mention likable–than me.