Sunday, July 6, 2008

And Now, Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey...Er, The Mad Chef

There is something to be said for every chef who still has a sense of pride in his/her food.

Believe me, it's like a relationship when at times that certain, spark if you will, seems to fade. So does the need to learn, create, and enjoy new things in the kitchen. It's difficult to reinvent the wheel nowadays. It seems more and more like the key to success in a restaurant relies more on the formula the restaurant follows than the food the chef creates day in and day out.

Call me old school, I want it to rely on the chef when its my turn. Of course, by that I mean it will be run by my GM too, but driven solely on the shoulders of the kitchen. I mean, that is why you chose to eat at my restaurant last night right? It wasn't because of that infusion drink we have at our bar, or because the service is supposedly sooo was because of the food.

The food that gets served at the place where I currently reside brings countless people back time and again. Sometimes I ask why...really I do. Last night however was not one of those times. I already said I ran 2 specials last night. I had 17 orders of the softshells and 26 pieces of the Escolar. Both were sold out by the end of the night.

Bragging rights?? Of course, but do I want to take it that way? Not at all, well, sorta hehehe. But it is more of a trial run each and every time my chef lets me make a special. It lets me see where the guests stand on certain items I put onto a plate. I ask my servers constantly, well, more like I bother the living shit out of my servers to get feedback on food. I've even sat down with a table to discuss what they ate and what they thought of the dishes they had. And for damn sure I've gotten mediocre feedback on my food before too.

In the past I was once told by one of my mentors, "don't ever fuckin put that into a risotto again!" As if it was sacrilegious, not that I knew, but it most likely was. Taking criticism is never a chef's strong point, we're artists in a way...and we're similarly tempered. But not being able to take it is step 1 in a chef's fall from grace.

Too often now, there are chefs in this city that believe they are gods gift to cooking, when everything they are doing smells like yesterday's diapers. Peanut butter and cous cous on the same plate? And you go so far as to make that dish on national television?!? Top Chef...I knew there was a reason why I felt a certain way about that "reality show." Believe me, that kind of dish shouldn't be reality, it should be fiction.

Just some random thoughts on a rare off day over a busy weekend.

No comments: