On February 8th 2017, Pata Negra turns nine Years old.
Due to the ever changing Real Estate Market of New York City, specifically the East Village, I have been reflecting over the last near decade of restaurant landscape volatility.
If I were to throw a dart in the air, I would guess that over 100 businesses have come and gone since 2008, the year I opened Pata Negra. I assure you this is an under estimation. There are still over 50 closed storefronts with “for rent” signs and I am only referring to a ten block radius around 12th street and 1st avenue.
Pata Negra is entering into its ninth year, and traveling to Spain to research the food and wine trends is one of the best parts of the job. I visit the wineries and producers, and in turn am able to relay to the Pata Negra public the products, the people and their distinctive stories.
This trip would prove different then all others because I finally decided to bring my fiancée, Michelle, who despite all her European and worldly travels had never set foot on Spanish soil. Now was as good a time as any.
May is a wise choice for travel to Spain, way before the legions of tourists arrive in June, way before it becomes insufferable in July, and capitalizing on the fact that most great chefs close in August for holiday.
Back from Chi-town, I felt pleased about how I planned my meals and stuck to them. I was really looking forward to doing the work. Mack scheduled four workouts for the calendar week, and with the diet modifications we were slowly implementing I was able to break the sound barrier (300 lbs) by July 4th.
I started to settle into a rhythm between working out, a modified diet, and living a normal life.
After admitting and accepting that I wanted to change my lifestyle (most important), then I had to take a real hard look at what aspects of my life were hindering the prospective future path to good health.
I knew I had to change how and how much I ate and drank, but how?
Katie Mack walked into Pata Negra and tasted Jamon Iberico de Bellota from my hands. I swooned over the ham candy and she reacted as if something foreign was being introduced to her palate. It was clear that I live to eat and that she eats to live. This was an important moment for us as later on we would try to meet somewhere in the middle.
When Mack came over to my apartment and shocked me with some life changes I would have to make, I was not ready to hear what she was saying, even though deep down inside I knew she was right. First, I needed to trust her, then I needed to have faith in myself. Again Mack reminded me of my motivations for changing my life.
Fast forward four months from the decision to make a lifestyle change, and I am prepped to meet my trainer for a second time.