Treasured: Marc Forgione's Sacred Shelf
Interview and Photos by Melanie Dunea / CPi / My Last Supper
Marc Forgione: "This shelf at Restaurant Marc Forgione holds many important and blessed things. There is a photo of an old, wise Native American that my mother gave to me for Christmas, some sage that my good friend and teacher Little Hawk gave me from inside an inner circle at a sun dance, and a red string. Red is a protector from evil spirits and it keeps you in the now. There's also a Padre Pio statue, I'm actually related to Padre Pio, who is a Catholic saint. So this shelf represents things that tie my beliefs to my lineage."
"Without that feather there wouldn't be anything left on those shelves and we wouldn't be sitting in these banquettes. Little Hawk did a blessing for my restaurant. There was a lot of weird, weird stuff happening to the people who worked here. After the ceremony, some kind of juju was released and we have been blessed ever since."
"When I look at the feather, I feel humble. Where we came from as a restaurant and where I've come from as a person. Everybody thinks that this restaurant was successful from day one but that couldn't be further from the truth, we have had a lot of rough times. This feather is a simple reminder: Don't forget where you came from."
"I don't know if anybody else has ever asked to touch the feather. But yeah, if somebody wants to touch it that's no big deal, it's all good."
"It's important for everyone who works at your restaurant to drink your Kool-Aid. I can't talk to every table, I can't clear every table, I can't greet people at the door, I can't do all that. So you have to make sure that the people who are representing you do so in the way—and with the energy—you want them to."