October 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s been a manic two weeks for the restaurant. We’ve been desirably busy and overwhelmed with too many people on the book. There has been instances where emotions take no control over hot oil splattering on the arm or caramel burning the thumb. Only to realize the pain after all has been done, which then there will be an impending scar. Perhaps, one would missed a glass of water or a slice of bread for a table, but the imperfection lies on the beholder, which regrettably could cost some tips off the bill.
To cope with the mayhem, the kitchen makes sure everyone is well-fed. It is true that the best restaurants around, feed only authentic heartfelt dishes to fill the bellies of every single soul. So that we all do our jobs exceeding well and be merry.
Looking towards feasting is exciting but it is the company that makes it satisfying. Huddling around the table or sitting on the steps of the back stairs, conversations of mundane daily activities and jokes are carried around. The air suddenly fills with either eagerness to start the evening or tiresome look of despair (usually on a boiling hot day or mid week).
“It’s all about being in the moment”, said my colleague as he chows down a parmesan cheese bacon and white bean lasagna while pacing back and forth. Others could not agree more when customers expect nothing less. A speck of gravy spilled on the rims of the plate is unadulterated. But a plate of vegetable pasta would require more than a spoonful of heirloom tomato sauce for the crew, that might just drip across the table.
A simple act of sharing massive bowl of salad or soup is nothing brilliant: passing plates, pouring water for one another, finding each other’s likes and dislikes in a dish (“no onions for me”;” more chili please”; “give me more bacon!”) etc. But, in the midst of it all, after spending hours or years (for some) together, we grow into a family. Caring, understanding, and helping one another until the last customer leaves the front door and the dish washer cleans the final plate.
I could only feel closer to everyone after family meals. Personal stories are touched, exchanged and thought of. It’s where real passion for food begins, are created and served to patrons. So the next time, if you hear someone not being fed well in a restaurant they work in, perhaps you should do a rain check on your reservation.