The Ottumwa Courier


July 13, 2013

Dinner in Europe


They want to take advantage of these resources and become part of a growing economy.

"They say, 'Chef, I want to get into the American market. But New York, Chicago, they're too tough to break into."

Barajas said there are things we could learn from the Europeans: Taking our time when interacting with each other is one of the cultural differences, including sitting down to a meal with friends to relax, to eat and to share. Much of their productive conversations in Spain took place around the dinner table.

"You know what you don't see? People [hunched over] their cell phones like this, [texting] when they're with each other. They look you in the eye, really connect with you. It's a sense of being here, now," Barajas said.

Rader said Spain has all sorts of camps for cooks, including student chefs. Why couldn't Wapello County have a summer cooking course for students from overseas?

"They desperately want to learn English," Rader said.

They come here, learn some cooking techniques, maybe take a trip out to where the food is grown, maybe watch how a professional kitchen in America works and polish their English skills.

But why would they come invest their time or money in Ottumwa?

What Barajas saw, he said, was that the people of Spain's former capital, Valladolid, were impressed with Chef Rader.

"They don't just give their trust to anybody," Barajas said. "It takes time."

Rader has spent that time showing his Spanish colleagues how serious he is about food and teaching the next generation of chefs. Barajas' insight tells him they notice that the chef is motivated to help his students and his community more than he is motivated to do things for himself. They know his word is good and that he looks for opportunities where everyone involved benefits.

Text Only
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

AP National