Friday Night Nonsense

Some people simply don’t know what they don’t know, and they’re too stubborn to admit that.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time with my eight-year-old Stella.  Since she was home sick, we thought a low-key activity like pasta making would be a great project.  Before heading out to the pediatrician we made some duck egg pasta dough and wrapped it well.  Upon our return we rolled some sheets to use for ravioli, garganelli, and bowties.  I also showed her how to make sheets with whole parsley leaves in them.  We also used some of the dough to make cavatelli with the small hand-crank machine and by hand with a gnocchi board.  She especially liked the part when I hooked up my cordless drill to the cavatelli maker and produced noodles at an alarming rate.

What impressed me about Stella is that I didn’t have to ask her to do things, she took initiative.  I didn’t have to show her things twice due to great aptitude for pasta making and because she paid attention.  She worked the whole time and took no smoke breaks, she didn’t have to check her phone, get a soda, or feel the need to get some air. How refreshing, and what a nice change from late-arriving twenty-somethings who feel it’s ok to take 20 minutes upon arrival to get changed, fix a cup of coffee, and chat with the bartender before starting actual work.  She also didn’t ask for Saturday off, ask if she could leave early because she needs to give her dog heart worm medication by 9 or the pooch will die.  That’s code for I want to take a shower and get dressed so I can meet my friends out by 10.

As one goes from place to place it’s easy to leave physical elements behind.  Pans, plates, tools, spice blends, or coffee makers.  Some places however are resistant to retaining non-tangible things you try to leave behind.  Knowledge, work ethic, ingenuity, and tenacity are things I have been able to leave with some organizations and individuals, but some places have deep cultures of indifference, indolence, and a general disregard for progressive thinking.  It has always felt like I have failed when I’ve left places with those poor qualities, but I when I look back on my years in the kitchen, I reminisce about all the people I’ve come across and how many are doing well in the industry.  I may not leave a legacy as the long-time chef at one spot, but I find satisfaction that I have left my mark on places and people in the business.

I don’t typically unfriend people simply due to differing political stances.  I respect informed, well thought out opinions based on facts and knowledge of events and situations.  However, I found it necessary when someone claimed that Barack Obama was the laziest and worst (he said the “worse”) president in history because all he watches is Fox News for information, and because he’s possibly a racist.  This was an individual who I worked for when I was just starting out and I thought his box full of knives, ability to keep up on a busy sauté station, and knowledge were impressive.  Then, I became a sauté wizard, got a bunch of knives, and gained far more knowledge than he will ever have.  So, since you have not been relevant for many years, and since your ignorant views are offensive, to Hell with you.  This is not a defense of President Obama, but a defense of reasonably formed opinions.

I’m not sure I should keep the last paragraph in this post.

Here’s how owners who have never done an hour’s work in the kitchen see it: “I pay you by the hour, so you need to continuously work while you’re here.”  As a chef, who knows how hard the job is, this is how I see it: “You are paid at a rate of $12.00 per hour, and work an eight-hour shift, that’s less than $100.00 to prep and hold down a station for dinner service.”  If you want to take 15 minutes to sit on a milk crate and eat a sandwich or bowl of pasta then go ahead, if your shit’s together.  If you want to take a pizza home on a Saturday night, then you’ve earned it.

We’ve really got to find a way to treat our line cooks and dishwashers better, it’s a tough job.

Eight-year-olds should not have what looks like a beer gut.  I really shouldn’t either.

Fox News is for conformation, not information.

Someone recently threatened to sue me for blasphemy.  I laughed and I laughed.

Blasphemy is an impossible offence.  Since it is the act of speaking sacrilegiously about a figure called God, and the being many call God does not exist, then blasphemy cannot exist.

It’s my well-informed opinion, believe what you wish.

Prime rib vs. Ribeye steak. It’s a tough lesson.

A comment on my recent post asked that when I opened my restaurant if I was going to talk to my customers in the way I write on this blog.  The blog and the restaurant are two separate entities and I mostly know how to act in public.  With that said, I will have a set of standards for both myself and my customer base.  I will not surrender those standards.

Why do people continue to call chicken tenders boneless wings?   Putting Buffalo sauce in it does not make it a wing, boneless or otherwise.

Dogs are not children, and I’m offended by those that make that comparison.  Creating a human child, carrying as part of your body for nine months, and raising a child is in no way like getting a puppy.  I love dogs, but reality is reality, and please stop pushing them around in strollers thinking they’re babies.

If your Saratoga restaurant needs the Summer season to survive, then perhaps it’s not the entity you may think it is.

I was at Stella’s softball game here in Schuylerville and overheard a few people talking about a Saratoga restaurant.  The woman reported that there was a $17 pasta, and a $39 steak, and that for $39 you ought to get the whole cow.  Well, when you go to the big city you gotta expect big-city prices.

I’ve lived in Schuylerville for 4 years and have eaten one steak in a restaurant here.  That was enough.

Calling it a steakhouse doesn’t make it so.

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