29 March 2009

Portrait in a new (food) economy: Matthew Wexler

It can feel a little crushing if you're caught too close to the fall-out of this economy, like a bad hangover. This is why the effervescent spirits (the alka seltzers for this hangover) of those few entrepreneurs still emerging as if nothing's wrong capture my imagination.

One such character I met as he left his managerial job at the Food Bank For New York City's offices, just as I found my way in. Matthew Wexler has bid adieu to the 9 to 5 grind and immediately stepped into a new world of freelance work as a personal chef and marketer extraordinaire. More zen than brazenly confident, his fearlessness is centered on a desire for quality of life. He cares about being able to go to the Union Square Farmer's Market during the weekday so that he can meet the producers. He plans to spend time exploring the many niche Asian markets in Queens among the burgeoning immigrant populations. Most of all, he's going to enjoy himself.

He is associated with Good Commons, a eco-friendly, relaxation heavy, gastro retreat in Vermont. Guests can request him as their personal chef, lured by his promise to deliver comfort food with inspiration from around the globe. The owner, an old friend, actually inspired him to go to culinary school in the first place, and continued to be an inspiration as he kicked into gear his own, alternative career.

As I finish interviewing him, Matthew hands me his new card. It is brilliant, and I immediately want to steal the idea for myself: a substantially smaller him, grinning ear to ear with chocolate ringing his mouth, a greedy fist clenching what looks to be a glazed profiterole. Below the photo, a very simple job decription. Food Enthusiast.

3 comments:

Robin Shanea said...

I love this post! Great writing!

TracyA said...

Matthew is a dear friend and I assure you his enthusiasm for life and food is infectious. I can't wait to get up to Good Commons soon!

The Girls Who Ate Everything said...

Hi Tracy, thanks for you comments. I look forward to hearing more about Good Commons. Keep me posted!