ThoughtfulThursday – Michelin Star Ranked Restaurant Dishwasher Promoted to…Partner?

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark

Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to ThoughtfulThursday at the Center of Gravity Blog! It’s time for a break from the constant negativity swirling around us, and I believe I have just the anecdote to do that.

Today I want to discuss a truly inspiring story I stumbled across in my morning browsing. The concept of going ” from the mailroom to the boardroom” is what was thought to be a uniquely American ambition. That is, the ability to start at the bottom of the ladder and advance all the way to the top via a merit- based system or recognition & reward. This, to me, is the quintessential American dream. Such a trajectory was recently realized when the 2 Michelin Star Ranked restaurant Noma declared they were promoting their long time dishwasher to a partner position in the business. 

The restaurant, which is based in Copenhagen, has been voted best restaurant in the world three times in a row by Restaurant Magazine and is know for its exquisite and unique dishes that challenge and invigorate the palate. The owner/chef René Redzepi is a mastermind of the kitchen, and decided his long time dishwasher Ali Sonko had earned his stripes after a long tenure of dedicated service. He immigrated from Gambia and has 12 children that all rely upon him. 

At 62, Ali has been in Copenhagen at the direction of René since he immigrated in 2003. Despite coming from an impoverished area with little to his name, he grinded everyday and persevered to obtain the full trust and confidence of the owner and staff. He has become a household name not only at the restaurant, but the entire local community. 

It is my sincerest hope that we as a country can continue to build up and inspire people in a similar fashion as Ali. His drive and grit pushed him through a time and situation that would’ve broken many others in a similar set of circumstances. It also speaks as a testament that hard work and loyalty can still take you anywhere in this world, regardless of your country of origin, beliefs, and ethnicity. Truly inspiring.

Bravo Ali, and best of luck in your new role as partner ! 


The Center of Gravity w/ Nick

Welcome to The Center of Gravity!

I’ll be your host for the evening, and yes we could experience some turbulence as we hurdle headlong through infinity at an unthinkable velocity.

Everyday, we are presented with vastly differing opinions, viewpoints, and stances on a gamut of issues affecting each and every one of our lives. Although we may feel deeply rooted in our belief systems for a multitude of reasons, we must learn as a collective that the purest truth is most commonly found in the shades of grey encompassing the middle ground, which is typically no-mans land in todays sociopolitical climate.

It is my firm belief that by hanging up our swords and shields at the door of dialogue we can slowly erode the walls of ignorance. One thing that I keep in mind when speaking to or debating those with conflicting viewpoints is that everyone experiences a completely unique set of circumstances that brought them to where they are today. We find little benefit overall in reducing our communication to simple insults and slights. There is so much to gain when we take the time to respect our fellow man enough to hear their concerns with open minds instead of daggers and arrows.

My goal is to never shut down someone simply for their point of view, but to first tease out how they crystallized their volitions in the first place.  You cannot build from the ramparts, it starts in the ground with every last piece of brick, mortar, and soil that encompasses the foundation. The roots of our lives run deep into the dirt, which is where you’ll find the origins of our fear that manifests as irrationality. This is where we will begin.

Today is the first day of the weekly roundup, aptly titled “Mojo-Monday.”  l’d briefly talk about a topic relating to something I find inspirational and open things up for discussion and comments. The list below breaks down each day and the associated topics that could potentially be covered.

  • MojoMonday – Inspiration/Creativity to stoke the week
  • TechTuesday – Mind bending research and other science/tech
  • WildWednesday – Action, Sports, and Events
  • ThoughtfulThursday – Acts of kindness/Good deeds
  • FreshFriday – Startup chatter & Think-tank

In the near future I’ll be live on Periscope talking about the topic of the day, fielding questions, and fending off the trolls. I’ll also be answering questions that are emailed or DMed to me via Twitter so feel free to throw in something relevant to the topic (or not). Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you will stop by again.


Feel Free to email me or follow me on Twitter as well!

Twitter Logo Silhouette free icon@SinickalOne