christopher lee, eccolo :: august 2009

me, eccolo :: august 2009

photos by the ever-fantastic bart nagel

yesterday, while i was up at the farm with deeann and novella, my piece on the closing of eccolo ran in the chronicle. and even though at times i want to throw that durned iphone out the window, every time i checked it, there were a few more emails, messages and comments about the piece. and you know what, nearly every single one said that it had brought the reader to tears. yowza!

there was a lot i didn't have room for in that piece, and i'm sure that over time i'll be able to tell more and more of the story. i do want everyone to know these two things, though:

1) we tried everything we could to save the place, including cooking every sort of people-pleasing food you might be able to imagine. our egos and ideas of what we should be cooking went out the window many years ago when we realized that we had to cook people what they wanted to eat if we wanted to survive.

2) at the heart of it, the investor simply had a different idea about how to run a restaurant than we did. he was actually very generous, supporting us financially for a very, very long time without any return on his money. i don't know very many people who'd do that. but when it came down to it and things needed to change in a big way, we were forced make some big decisions about what we were and weren't willing to do, and we decided that we couldn't compromise any further.

now i'm off to the restaurant to clean up a bit. hopefully, this will be the last week of packing up. i've already started working a bit at cp, and am trying to get some of my other projects organized. i think next week i'll get a chance to catch my breath, when i head down to esalen to TA a seed-to-table cooking workshop for jessica theroux.


  1. samin, congrats on the article. you are truly talented in so many ways.

  2. That was a wonderfully written and eye-opening article. Cheer and best wishes to you.

  3. Oh Samin, what a heartfelt, touching piece in the Chronicle. It literally brought me to tears. It kills me that establishments like Eccolo, who's hearts are in the right place, are forced to close. Much love goes out to you and your Eccolo family.