chef's to-do list
photo: Jacque Burke

Our friend Jacque Burke is the Communications Director for The Dutch and Locanda Verde, lynchpins of chef Andrew Carmellini‘s growing restaurant empire. She sent us a photo of this astonishing to-do list with some thoughtful commentary, and inadvertently became a guest blogger:

“I had some work waiting for me at Locanda Verde, and when I went into our chefs offices there, I was stopped dead by this to-do list sitting on the desk.”What chaos!” I thought. Just looking at it made my mind go blank. I need symmetry in my to-do lists: columns with an underlined header for each one, that these days is either a person who needs tending (AC, Luke, Josh, Patrick, JACQUE) or one of our ongoing projects (Locanda Verde, the cafe inside The Dutch Miami, MSG…) I keep them in one of these journals that I carry around with me. 

Once I got over the insta-vertigo from this list, it struck me just how interesting looking it was – with the random acts of color in certain spots – and how graphic. Was this really a hapless creation? Or perhaps it is the perfect picture of that frenzied life we all lead (and by lead, I think I really mean ‘chase after beet-faced and breathless.’) Everyone’s to do list looks different, but maybe this is how everyone’s to do list feels. (Or maybe I am just too busy, ha!)  

The wild to-do list is tacked up on my wall now, and is my screen saver. I can’t stop staring at it.”

Jacque’s list reminds us of a wonderful exhibition that was at the Morgan Library some time ago, and is now a book:  Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Collections of the Smithsonian Museum. (A great holiday gift, btw.)

You’ll find an extensive, totally mind-blowing sampling of wild lists here.

“The Bohemian Dinner”, a poem/experience rendered in declarative list form by Charles Green Shaw seems particularly apropos:


Thanks Jacque!

Related posts: chef head (andrew carmellini)
chef inspiration: from eleven madison park to el bulli
to-do list tattoo
notebooks for graphing the past and future

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One thought on “remarkable to-do lists

  1. Love that list and would enjoy it as wallpaper! I too, am obsessed with lists and the exhibition at the Morgan was terrific — my favorite being the list generated by the architect Eero Saarinen who compiled his future wife’s positive traits.

    For anyone inspired to read more on the rich topic of lists, check out Umberto Eco’s book titled “The Infinity of Lists.” You’ll look at the world anew as a result of this book.

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