When One Chef Closes, Another Chef Opens

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Notes from Nan: Jim, Oh Jim done gone.
By HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

One of the problems of having a tiny restaurant with an outstanding certified chef is that he is constantly being recruited by larger restaurants that can pay him infinitely better than I can. Happily (and surprisingly!) for me, Jim turned the marauders down for 3 years, but while I was in New Orleans recently, one of them finally convinced him to go. It makes sense now that he has a family (wife and new baby) to support and all, so I wasn’t surprised, just sad to see him go and glad he stayed so long. Jim will still be with us, snapping out breakfasts with Mary on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but he’ll be cooking with the high rollers all the other days of the week. Thanks Jim, for all the excellent food.

So now we welcome our new dinner cook, Brolin! You’ve enjoyed his breakfasts and to-go lunches for a few months now; he came to us back in January—and here’s how Baby Jesus works: he (Brolin, not Baby Jesus) told me the other day that when he came back to this area he applied to a number of restaurants, but got no real interest. He was just starting to get discouraged when he applied to Elmer’s. We liked him as soon as we saw him and snapped him right up. And this is exactly where he’s supposed to be because we love him! He grew up in Amherst and sought his fortune in San Francisco where he had his own catering company, Instant Luau. He moved back to the area last winter and that’s when we got him.

Besides cooking, he has his own record label, 442 Records, preserving hip-hop, R & B and jazz for all time. He likes candlepin bowling, fly-fishing and lives to barbecue. He’s also cute as the dickens, which I can say because I am way older than he is.

I asked him what his culinary philosophy was and he shrugged, smiled and said, “I like to make good food that people will like.” So, okay! – He’s cooking Thursday and Friday dinners now!

Elmer’s Store | 396 Main St. | Ashfield, MA 01330 | (413) 628-4003


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Menu’s are posted with her column. nanparati@aol.com

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