A Bridge of Snippets

Here’s a few feeble thoughts to bridge the gap between my last real post and the next real post.  I will tell you this, my next one will be my most personal to date.

Jenn and I like to buy our own cooking and kitchen supplies for home, we have specific tastes, style and requirements.

I’m a much better cook than administrator.

It’s often appalling that some people call themselves a chef.

How about a dinner party centered around my life in the restaurant business.  Some of my favorite dishes, and some of the best unfiltered stories from my experiences? Would you attend?

I don’t like cooked strawberries, raw are fine. I don’t like raw blueberries, I like them cooked.

People I either know personally, or are acquainted with on Facebook that I think I could spend a day cooking with: Jennifer Derby Colose, she’s my all-time sous chef, Matthew ‘Fuj’ Scher, we have not met in person, but he’s helped me out, and seems really nice, and fun to be around. He’d also bring good beer and/or whiskey. Robert Rymarz, his story is fascinating, I’d love to hear it while we worked. I’ll mention more in a bit.

Jenn, Theresa and I had a meeting and decided that ordering pizza from Caputo’s would be the best way to get dinner on the table.  We had separate cars, so Jenn ordered and was to pick up the dinner while I headed home. During the ordering process Jenn asked if two of the chicken wings could be taken out and packed separately so Stella could have them as we worry about her diary allergy.  The response from the young lady on the phone was “no, we don’t do that.”  As it turns out the owner knows how to correct a problem.  I wasn’t happy about the response so I wrote a review on their Facebook page.  Within 30 minutes I got a response from ownership and we had a conversation about what happened. He called the Wilton location, redirected the young lady’s thought process, offered to replace the order and promised a free order next trip.  I then deleted the review from their FB page and the owner asked me why. I said “because you took the necessary steps to correct the problem and as someone in the hospitality business I appreciate that, so you don’t deserve to have that review.”  I have a new friend, and will be enjoying their food again.

There’s a lot of new restaurants in Saratoga either just opened or about to open.  I can predict with almost pinpoint accuracy how things are going to go for each of them.

Small menu people!  Focus your efforts on fresh, thoughtful food.

I’ve had some really bad jobs.  What the Hell was I looking for?  I kind of know the answer to that, and soon you will too.

I worked briefly many years ago at the Seven Horse Pub.  One premise I was hired on was to reshape the menu which didn’t go well. The owner thought the bigger the menu the better. “No, you really don’t need 7 versions of your grilled chicken sandwich.”   The freezers were jam-packed with crap.

Define what kind of place you want to be, make it something that people want, stick to it, and do it well.

You cannot open a restaurant for everyone.

People sometimes ask me if I an interested in consulting on their project of opening a restaurant.  I tell them what I charge and I don’t hear back. Then things like this happen.

I’m not saying to hire me to ensure success, but get some experienced professional consulting and follow the advice you paid for.  The restaurant business is very difficult, so don’t just think you can wing it.

Make your servers learn the menu no matter what kind of restaurant you have.  There’s not much more annoying to a chef than to have a server come into the kitchen and ask a question that they should know the answer to.

Rob Handel, because he does some really interesting shit.  Mohammed Mohonni Malih, because I would like to improve my Moroccan cooking.  Mehmet Odekon, because I would like to improve my Turkish cooking, and because I miss him.