Overdue Snippets and Bits

Where the in Hell’s name have I been and what have I been up to?

Yes, I’m aware that I haven’t written in quite some time.  My life has changed considerably and I’m trying to adjust. With Theresa now living with us, and a new position, something had to be put on the back burner.  Now that things have started to settle down, and the holiday season is over, it’s time to write again. This won’t be my best post, but it gets me back into the swing of things.  More will follow, and I think I’ve got some interesting topics to cover.

Theresa is doing well, the healing and moving forward are a slow.

Speaking of sauerkraut, a new dish on my winter menu at Chez Nous will be braised wild boar belly, smoked duck sausage with apple brandy, pheasant sausage, oak barrel aged sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, and home-made mustard.

I left you at 4.6. and you dropped to 3.8.

So, for those of you that don’t know, I am now the chef at Chez Nous in Schenectady.

Following are some of the things I have now that I did not have before that I have now:  Modern, working equipment.

Here was the scene at work this past Friday, I describe it for those of you who can’t understand why you pay the prices in a restaurant that you do.  In the kitchen was the service man from Action Commercial Appliance Repair, a company I strongly recommend, In and out was the delivery driver from Century Linen, a company I absolutely do not recommend, upstairs was a technician from Time-Warner, In the office was a representative from the POS company, and in the basement was a contractor trying to figure out our return air situation.

It’s been a year since I left The Wine Bar. I miss a few of the people, but not most of the people. The good ones, the ones I liked came to work with me anyhow, since I was clearly the problem.

There’s a real plus to having a chef that’s fully committed.

Some people think I should be committed.

I hold a grudge.  Often longer than necessary.

As a chef, the leader and manager of the kitchen I’ve always been well-respected by the people who work for me.  The way you gain respect in a restaurant is to be smart, to work hard, to make significant contributions to the cause, and to do the things necessary for success.  When, in the restaurant culture you can do those things, you’ll be respected. If you cannot do those things, you will not be respected no matter what your position.

Would you believe some restaurant folks have their friends write glowing reviews for their restaurants. While you’re only fooling yourself, you’re amusing me.

Over-growth is a cornerstone of mediocrity.

Say yes, we can do that to your guests whenever possible, it’s just good hospitality.  Saying no alienates them and sends them to other restaurants.

Gray Kunz is no longer associated with Salt and Char, or any Adelphi project as reported on Table Hopping :  I did do a one day stage at Salt and Char at the end of September before accepting the chef’s position at Chez Nous. What I saw even back then was a pretty good restaurant, but little evidence that Chef Kunz was still present and that he had very much influence on the kitchen and the products being used. While it may still be a decent restaurant, it clearly never got off the ground as the restaurant we were told it would be.

I saw some things, but I won’t say.

While at my first restaurant job, a place called Mike’s Pizza Adobe, my employer told me to never hire family.

One project I’m thinking about starting is an Anthony Bourdain-style book about my experiences in the restaurant business.  There’s an awful lot of stuff I have not told you about an awful lot of people.

When I retire I’ll tell you about the restaurant owner that would sit at his desk in red bikini underwear.  I’ll tell you about the absolute meanest pair of restaurant owners I’ve ever known.

Here’s a good story about the virtues of take-out.  I’ve told it before, I just can’t remember when and where, especially now that I’ve had some bourbon.  Yes, folks, bourbon and blogging reunited and it feels so good. Years ago I owned a place called Theresa’s Italian Grill.  I started without much money, and was in a bit of a financial fix when a wonderful woman, Joanne DeVoe of DeVoe associates, a marketing and PR firm stopped in and asked for some take-out.  Two orders of chicken alla cacciatore.  Long story made short, she called me later that night with a glowing review of the meal and promised to get some reviewers in there. It happened, great reviews, business was saved.  Yes, take-out can be good.

Well, it’s good to be back, I’ll write again soon, and next time with some actual interesting content.


2 thoughts on “Overdue Snippets and Bits

  1. Pretty obvious you’re into the bourbon as I am into the wine. I’m looking forward to enjoying your new restaurant, and I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Intriguing that you are self taught. I’ve just always looked at Schenectady as the end of the world. But you raised so many intriguing points and were so vague as to be almost taunting! I do agree with you about Jimmy Rua, who is also a sweetheart

    Liked by 1 person

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