God Bless Amar'e Stoudemire. He may be a lazy rebounder who's destined to have his knees explode sometime within the next 24 months, but damnit, he's a complicated dude. So much more than just a New York Knick, man.
One minute he's starting a "lifestyle" blog, the next, the next he's chilling with Anna Wintour at Fashion Week. Then he's threatening to "boycott" the NBA, and finally, here he is with a feature profile in Bon Appetit that takes us into his New York apartment for a Sunday Soul Food buffet.
There's just so much to love here. You should really read the entire thing. But because this is the internet and there's a 60% you'll be too lazy to read all the way through, here are the top 5 moments from "Amar'e Stoudemire's Full-Court Southern Feast."
1. We begin by meeting Stoudemire's cook, Maxcel Hardy.
He's been a chef to the stars since 2002, when, as an 18-year-old culinary student in Miami, he bluffed his way into a catering job (he enlisted his mother as bartender since he wasn't technically old enough to buy alcohol) and used the party proceeds to print up business cards that confidently read "Chef to the Stars."
2. And how they met.
Hardy had just made dinner for a client and was packing up when Stoudemire called him. He was looking for someone to cook for him and his friends before they went out to a club. As in: That night. Immediately. "I looked at my watch. It was almost midnight," Hardy recalls. "I thought, Well, okay. I did a little shopping and made them a grand feast: grilled lobster tails, steaks, Yukon-garlic mash, and chocolate soufflé."
"I remember thinking, We may have a winner here, " Stoudemire says, laughing.
3. Pretty much the greatest tradition ever, right here:
When he was growing up in Florida, [Stoudemire] recalls, "my aunt always cooked a huge meal on Sundays. I want to keep that tradition alive here. So on Sundays, Chef Max lays it all out, and a bunch of friends come over. We call it Soul Food Sundays."
4. Also, never forget that the world of rich people is completely baffling.
Stoudemire's friends are as varied a lot as his off-court interests. "We met through private jets," says one of the guests, Jesse Itzler, an entrepreneur who is involved with Stoudemire in a line of edible energy strips called Sheets.
5. And finally, rapper Fabolous, with some words for everyone to live by:
The rapper Fabolous is standing by the pool table. "I'm fond of his work," he says of Hardy's culinary prowess. Fabolous also respects Stoudemire's interest in eating well: "I pig out all the time, but I plan to trend down the fried stuff when I get older. You gotta chisel at it, though. You can't go cold turkey on fried chicken, you know?"
If there's any justice in the world, this article will lead to Fabolous, Hardy, and Amar'e pooling their assets to start a gourmet soul food restaurant on the Upper East Side. And 12 months from now, we'll be talking about another Bon Appetit article, this time taking us inside the hottest new restaurant in New York City. That restaurant's name? Cold Turkey Fried Chicken, y'all.
Cold. Turkey. Fried. Chicken.
(HT: Hardwood Paroxysm)