I think the difference between a drunk and someone who likes to drink is that the person who likes to drink knows why they may not feel well, the drunk has no clue.
My favorite dogs are the Beagle and the Border Collie.
Social media is a great place for folks to display their ignorance if they so choose.
It’s also a great place for the misinformed to share their information with other misinformed individuals.
Pro tip: If the chef is drinking Gatorade diluted with water, then make sure you choose another color of Gatorade to mix with your vodka while at work. That way the chef doesn’t pick up the wrong bottle.
The president of Sysco-Albany came to visit me a few days ago because one of the restaurants I’m doing some consulting work for has ended a 20 year relationship with them. The kitchen manager had expressed a dissatisfaction with the level of service and asked me what a good alternative would be. I’ve always been a fan of sales rep, Mark McNary, who now works for Performance Food Group so I gave him a call, he set up the account in a day, and the restaurant saw its first delivery the next afternoon.
The president of Sysco asked me why I don’t like Sysco. I said, “Because the president of Sysco doesn’t know enough not to drop in unannounced to see the chef during dinner service.”
I have been invited by the president of Sysco to visit their facility in Halfmoon to see their operation, their quality, fresh produce, seafood, and meat programs. I’ll take him up on the offer, and I have no doubt I’ll see some great things because they actually have a lot of great products and terrific resources.
The issue is that while Sysco tells me they’re trying to be more product driven, what they don’t seem to realize is that chefs that use great products are generally better chefs that are busy producing and have very little time to deal with minimal service. Chefs who use prepared ingredients don’t need the same level of service and have more time to hold a clipboard and do their own legwork.
I’m working with a guy now who considers himself a kitchen manager. When I get done with him we’ll call him chef.
My wife says I should work for Sysco because they could use a guy like me. I’m not sure I’d fit in, I can be kind of a jerk.
Jerks often get results.
I’ll be doing another Friday Night Cookout at The Cheese Traveler on the 29th of July. Argentina will be my muse, and you can expect some handmade sausages made with meats from local farms including Tilldale Farm in Hoosic. Having done a couple of them now I feel like I’m comfortable with the venue and you can expect this one to be especially good.
I like to see chefs write seasonal menus, take advantage of what’s fresh, make an effort, cultivate learning in their staff, work clean, take chances, know their venue and clientele, focus on their kitchen, show interest in the entire restaurant, know their strengths, know their weaknesses, eat a Big Mac on occasion, and drink after hours. I like a lot of other qualities too.
One of the restaurants I’m working with in a consulting role is The Side Room located in The Inn at Saratoga. I have spent a great deal of time there over the six weeks and can tell you it’s a great place to be. Well, a very nice position has opened up in the kitchen and if you’re a dedicated line cook with a love of food and would to take on a leadership role, or you know someone looking to take the next step in their culinary career, then let me know in the comment section.
Shameless plug: The Yawning Duck
Some of the people and places that have shaped the current food culture in the Capital Region. I’m thinking Stewart’s, The Purnomo family, Sysco, Adventure in Food Trading Co., McDonald’s, Steve Barnes, Ric Orlando, Jim Rua, Angelo Mazzone, Italian restaurants, Daniel Berman, Jaime Ortiz, Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine, Wal-Mart, Gordon Ramsey, The Food Network. Who am I missing?