“I’m in Rugby!”
My sister called me the other day, and in response to me asking what she was doing, she replied, “I’m in Rugby!” I was confused. Turns out, she meant that she was in the town of Rugby, Tennessee.
My sister, Robin, met her now-hubby right after I had read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, which I found fascinating, but ultimately too raunchy, and had to put it down, unfinished. (Love his show, No Reservations, on the Travel Channel, though!) When I found out that Robin’s beau was a chef, well, I had to find out if it was truly as Bourdain had described. Jay confirmed that, yes, the life of cheffery (or whatever it’s called) is highly akin to Bourdain’s book.
It certainly is an intinerant job, which has now taken him to Rugby. The town was founded in the 1880s as a sort-of utopian society for “second sons” of Britain, who found themselves with no land, as laws and tradition highly favored the firstborn, leaving the second-borns pretty much up a creek without a paddle. So, they upped and moved to… Tennessee. In theory, anyways. Now, the whole town, at the foot of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is owned by the historical society. Jay is now cheffing for the only restaurant in town, the Harrow Road Cafe. And, they’ve been given a house, there in Rugby, to go along with the arrangement. Now, this is lovely… Who could turn down a house?? But it also means that my sister now has to commute over an HOUR into Knoxville. It’s a lovely drive, so I’m told… but that seems awfully far. But, she has a really good, fulfilling job, and I’m sure she’s loathe to find new employment.
If you ever find yourself in north-central Tennessee, you might want to meander through Rugby and stop for a meal. Tell ’em Karen sent you.