Category Archives: Quotations

I Made Almost 2,000 People Happy Last Week

I recently read a gorgeous essay about being in the restaurant biz, by  Kylestyle, at Cocktails and Folklore (great blog name, BTW).


Just like every other great business person, I provide a product and a service to customers. I equip myself with great knowledge and the people skills to be able to provide the best service possible. The fact that I happen to sell food, wine, cocktails should not lessen the fact that I am in fact a business person who is providing a service. A service that the customer came to take part in….

I totally agree with Kyle’s assessment that a lot of customers do not think that Hospitality is a vocation worthy of respect. I know, there have been a million blog posts on this already, so I’m not going to beat that horse. If someone doesn’t respect my career choice, then I don’t care what they think about anything else, either.

I don’t need ignorant, or stupid, people in my life.

I’ve worked in other fields: banking, bookstores, car sales, catering sales. But I keep coming back to the restaurant, because I love it.

I love the rush of a busy service, orchestrating the fast-paced dynamics of getting cold drinks and hot food from the back to the front.

I love seeing the smiles on the faces and in the eyes of people enjoying themselves, eating the food that our team put together.

I love talking to the people and hearing their stories, about why they come to our restaurant, the dishes they enjoy, how they want to share an experience with family, or with friends from out of town.

Sure, from time to time there is that person who doesn’t get it. Or that just doesn’t like what we are producing. And it can grate for a bit, but I always get back up and do it all over again. Because for every Negative Nancy there are a thousand smiling faces that say, “it’s delicious, thank you for stopping by“.

That is why I do what I do, and I don’t care if some idiot thinks it’s not respectable. What could be more respectable than making people happy?

How many people, do you suppose, do they make happy every day?


How to Read a Recipe

Alton Brown has some great tips on how to read a recipe, so you don’t blow up what you’re trying to cook:

1. Sit Down: That’s right … sit down at the kitchen table and simply read the recipe all the way through. Don’t make notes, don’t make lists, just read.

2. Read It Again: Highlight any special procedures or sidebars that might change your timeline, i.e. bringing butter to room temperature or soaking dry beans (that’s the one that used to get me). Be careful to note punctuation. For instance, “1 cup chopped nuts” is not the same as “1 cup nuts, chopped.” Nor is 6 ounces of brown sugar the same as 3/4 cup brown sugar.

3. Gather Equipment: I always do this first because if there’s something esoteric on the hardware list, you may need to abandon the dish until you can procure a left-handed pasta roller.

4. Gather Ingredients: Pantry ingredients and dry goods should be corralled into a staging area. Anything that’s missing goes on the grocery list. I do the same thing with the refrigerator/freezer, collecting everything onto one shelf. Whatever’s missing goes on the grocery list. During this phase be especially mindful of ingredients that may need to be thawed, or brought to room temperature. Keep in mind, recipe writers list ingredients in order of use, typically from largest amount to smallest. This is also a cue for the cook as to how the ingredients should be measured and used. For example, if a recipe calls for both a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of oil, we call for the oil first so that the honey will be easier to measure.