SEATTLE: Afraid to get divorced? It may be the best thing that’s happened to you – Just ask chef Joseba Jimenez

harvest

Divorce Seattle Style

I have been in the mood to talk about food all day. Perhaps it’s because I stayed in all day, eschewed all phone calls and mortals, and made myself all these indulgent things!

You know, I think I should re-incarnate myself and become a gourmet chef. I really do. I mean, I was a total gourmand today. For instance, for breakfast, I made buttermilk pancakes and had coffee with creme (I never drink coffee but decided on instant coffee today!) with it. For lunch, I sliced up a ripe pear and an apple, covered them with nutmeg and cinnamon, sprinkled a dash of lemon juice on it, and a tablespoon of sugar and brought the whole concoction to delicate simmer in a tiny bit of water (stole the recipe from the book French Women Don’t get fat, btw) With that, I made a batch of simple tomato soup using big chunks of organic tomato, red peppers, some parsley flakes and a scoop of my favorite ingredient – Tostitos creamy spinach dip. Then for dinner, just now I made a mushroom omelette and I had a glass of Merlot with it. Totally indulgent. So wonderful! And of course, literally all day, I’ve been listening to Jazz.

So, when I found this story about chef Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez’s divorce from his Seattle based restaurateur wife Carolin Messier, I thought, how lovely, how apropos. It’s the perfect post to end the day. Especially because theirs seem to be one of the most amicable splits I personally had ever read about.

It appears they do not have children? It certainly sounds like they view their restaurant as their “baby.” Says Carolin to the Seattle Times, “He’ll be involved for a minimum of 12 months.”  The reporter described this as a “parenting plan” for running their [Joseba’s and Carolin’s] business.”

I personally have never been to Seattle and so I have not had the pleasure of patronizing their restaurant, Harvest Vine. Have you been there? I did read that it was on the list of Seattle’s “sexiest restaurants” so that definitely gives me a visual. The restaurant seems pretty well known in culinary circles and their divorce has been discussed ad nauseum in the blogosphere, to the chagrin of Madame Carolin. She is quoted in the Seattle Times Food & Wine section, saying, ”

“It was really upsetting when my manager came to me and said people were blogging about my divorce. It’s appalling!” When she was twice seen at a friend’s restaurant with a date, the “news” went viral. Her take on the blogospherific blah-blah-blah? “I’m not that interesting! A: who cares? B: Leave me alone.” Joseba finds the anonymous character attacks on them both exceedingly offensive, and agrees with Carolin who says their personal life is none of anybody’s business. “Those people need to get the facts together before they open their mouths,” he says. And here are those facts, straight from the horses’ mouths:

“I’m buying Joseph out,” says Carolin, who calls her husband by his Anglicized name and is now going by her maiden name, Messier. Which, pronounced the way it’s spelled, defines the opposite of the way they hope the denouement of their divorce will go.

“He’ll be involved for a minimum of 12 months,” she says, describing the “parenting plan” for running their business. “This is a completely mutual break-up. We both agreed it should have happened years ago.”

Well, I will not add to the gossip mongering. I have nothing to add really, as I’ve never heard of these people before tonight. They sound dreamy, I must say – Joseba, in particular, who, according to the website for their restaurant, has quite an illustrious resume. In part, it reads,

Chef Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez began his career in 1979 in Madrid. His culinary education continued in San Sebastian, which continues to influence his career today. In Paris he studied classical French cuisine followed by several months in Biarritz where he specialized in the cuisine of Gascony and the French Basque country.

Joseba was hired by the Spanish government to work as an apprentice at the Royal House. In 1983 he also worked for the United States Embassy in Madrid arranging special events. In 1984 he left Spain for the United States to work under Chef Louis Urrumbide, a French, Basque chef. During the next 10 years he worked as a consulting chef and helped to set-up and open over 20 restaurants in New York and throughout the country.

Joseba moved to Seattle in 1991. In 1994 he became Chef de Cuisine at Prego. While working at the Ruins, a private dining club, he met his wife, Pastry Chef Carolin Messier de Jiménez in 1996. Shortly after the wedding a year later, they opened a catering business, The Harvest Vine. Three years later they found the little corner space which would become their restaurant where Carolin develops the desserts using an eclectic as well as classic Spanish approach.

Other than the restaurant, they also own a “12-acre chateau” in the South of France, reportedly, and will be trying to unload it and split the proceeds.

Hme……………..I love it……………….don’t you?………………it’s especially sweet that they are parting as friends. That’s especially tasteful…………..yum……..I like folks who handle their divorces with this much class.

More from the Seattle Times here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/allyoucaneat/2010140240_harvest_vine_whats_going_on_jo.html

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