In Memory of Chef Robert Reynolds
Chef Robert Reynolds helped us hone the thinking and practice behind the p:ear kitchen and food program. He died on August 27, 2012, experiencing cancer as well as the love of his family and friends. His ideas about food, nurturance, and his generosity live in our mission.
When we first sat together drinking coffee and talking about p:ear, we talked about The Table. Who sits at The Table. Who gets to, who has to, and why. What can happen there. What it means to be invited there. Who brings the food to The Table, and why. What we talk about when we stand, side by side, cooking together. Eating together at The Table.
He welcomed students from p:ear into the Chef’s Studio when most people wouldn’t look these kids in the face. Robert knew the civilizing forces of not just The Table, but of the respectful teacher-student relationship. He had high expectations for us: he made us do it over and over again until we got it right. He never said “good job” unless he meant it: this kind of integrity and respect is not just what homeless teenagers need, but what we all need.
Robert gave his smart, demanding and loving spirit freely.
- Sarah Dougher