Amateur Hour

So I was laying on my couch as I typically do on my days off, scrolling through Facebook/Instagram when I saw a post about things you have to explain to people who have never worked in kitchens. From working on your feet for 10 hours with no break to tasting food all day but not really eating, it was spot on. Check out http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/understanding-cooks-best-kitchen-advice in case you want to read the original article. Anyway, the author pretty much summed up my entire life as a chef. It is hard to explain to people what we actually do in the restaurant industry. Unless you have actually worked in the kitchen or the front of the house you really have no idea what it is like. I think everyone who dines out and hasn’t worked in a kitchen should be forced to read the above post, as well as my blog (obviously). One thing that does grind my gears is people who dine in a restaurant and give the server an out by time. If you know you have to be somewhere soon, either don’t order something well done, have it coursed out, or expect fine dining in fast food time. I’m not microwaving your food lady, I’m cooking from scratch. It ain’t Applebees. Not sure what it worse, people who come in 15 minutes before we close or people who have to be out in 45 minutes right in the middle of the dinner rush. Both throw a monkey wrench into my night. Common courtesy is appreciated, that’s all. And both happened last night, which made for a fun evening. The great thing about working in restaurants is there is always plenty of blog material. And people keep reading me so I must be doing something right.

I do want to give a little pub to one of my good friends John Upsal, who happens to be a talented chef as well.  He recently started his own catering company, called Spread. http://www.spreadnc.com/ Give the website a look and spread the word. See what I did there? I had to slip in a terrible pun when I could. The days when Upsal, Rotella, and I worked together in the kitchen were some of the best times I’ve had. Getting paid to cook and laugh all day is hard to beat.

This weekend is what we call in the industry amateur hour, or Valentine’s Day. People who normally never dine out think they can take their significant other out to impress them with set menus. I typically don’t mind amateur hour because set menus usually equal an easy night in the kitchen. It’s the sheer volume that is tough, unless you’re working the grill at a steakhouse on Valentine’s, when it’s well done city. However it does seem that people come out the woodwork for Valentine’s, New Year’s, and Mother’s Day. The Holy Trinity of amateur hour. Don’t even bother with the drink menu, they’ll have water. Anyway, off to Bida Manda tonight, one of my favorite Raleigh restaurants. If you haven’t been, please go. Stay tuned for a plethora of Instagram pictures. Cheers foodies. Below is pretty much my view for 6 hours, the calm before the storm.

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