O’Mei Update: It’s true – no more lunch at O’Mei. Roger Grigsby, that maverick political hothead and tireless culinary tinkerer emailed me (and believe me an email from Grigsby is a lengthy affair) to say that things are going well now that he has discontinued lunches at the landmark restaurant. More time to focus on fine-tuning the legendary dinners at O’Mei. . . . Heard from former Sestri chef Jamie Smith again, and he reveals what he’s up to these days. “I am now working for Bon Appetit at Cisco Systems in San Jose. Bon Appetit has a wonderful mission and provides awesome foodservice to many schools, companies and facilities. They provide the foodservice at the Monterey Aquarium, Google, Oracle, Ebay, Yahoo, Pac Bell Park etc. I get to buy from local farmers,” says Smith. “A new thing for me is cooking for over 1500 customers a day…!!! It is great fun. I hope to maintain my presence in the local scene and I hope you will see me at several demos and events throughout the year.”
Chef Smith also isn’t shy about telling me what local restaurants he likes. “Soif is the best restaurant in Santa Cruz right now and you can quote me on that. I have been saying it for years. I love it.” . . . . And that vivacious golden girl June Smith – one of the founders of Roudon-Smith Winery – let me know this week that she is still cutting a swath through the world of cruise ships and world travel. Prior to her latest ocean voyage, the Miami Herald published one of June’s articles – on the Paradors of Puerto Rico. This just could be the hard-working grandmother in show biz!