Whether he’s tasting rare wines, bargain shopping for pig products, or belting out Missy Elliot tunes, Jason Stratton, executive chef at Cascina Spinasse, manages to get up to a lot during his down time.
Here’s what he did on his last day off.
I woke up late-ish, maybe around 11. I did boring things you have to catch up on after a week of not being in the house—recycling, etcetera.
I was also working on a playlist. My friend Emily Crawford, who works down at The Corson Building, just got married a couple months ago. Tomorrow she’s having her reception, so she asked me to DJ. She loves to dance, so it’s a mix of crazy old soul. I’ve been playing around a lot with old hip-hop samples and looking at the genealogy of R&B, modern radio stuff. I’m particularly fond of The Meters. That’s my own little weird obsession.
Next I went over to Spinasse and tasted some single vineyard barbarescos, which was exciting. It’s the newest vintage of the Produttori del Barbaresco. They have nine vineyards. In really good years, they release barbarescos from each one. So we tasted wines from the Pora Vineyard and Montestefano.
And then I went down to Fetherston Gallery on Pike. We have been talking to the owner Betsy [Fetherston] about focusing on some of her artists and having them hang work at Spinasse. I was like a kid in a candy shop looking through all those paintings. There’s an artist, David Konigsberg, who does these really fun, somewhat surrealist landscapes where people are dancing on a plane, or this lonely airplane is flying overhead with these fluffy clouds. I bought a piece there, and I’ve admired their shows for a while.
After that I went and got some pork shoulder for dinner at QFC. It’s like 99 cents a pound on some ridiculous half-off special! So I got a shoulder, some radishes, and collard greens and braised them all up with a little coconut milk and herbs. I’m kind of halfway moving towards fall, but I don’t want to quite let go of summer yet. I had that stew for dinner.
Later I met my Wednesday night crew at Bottleneck Lounge to watch Top Chef. I had Manny’s Pale Ale. After the show we always debate whether or not to extend the debauchery and go to karaoke at The Crescent. Missy Elliott is my calling card. I always sing “Work It.” But this time we just stayed at the Bottleneck.