I attended culinary school in a night and weekend program that lasted most of three years, while still working full time at a bank job where I had employer-assisted health insurance, paid sick days and vacation. Sometimes I look back and laugh at the fact I was putting myself in years of debt to be trained to work a job that nearly always pays less than a full-time office position, and rarely has any benefits like insurance or paid time off, but that’s a subject for another column. Continue reading Line Cooks – What do they do all day?
Recently, I got a call about a memorial wake for a fellow industry worker who had died unexpectedly while working at a city he’d moved to out west. The man who died wasn’t elderly, but he had been feeling poorly in the weeks leading up to his death. He didn’t seek medical help because he didn’t have health insurance. Continue reading A Tribe Called Us
I recently saw a Facebook post directed to the chef of a newish popular restaurant. A patron was enthusing about a meal he’d had at the restaurant the night before. I’m paraphrasing, but the exchange went something like this:
“Hey, Chef, we ate at your place last night, it was wonderful, I didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of you, unfortunately. I wanted to say hello. But I’m sure you were busy; the dining room certainly was!” Continue reading Consistency is Key
“Who had the pork chop?”
We’ve all been through this. You and your dining companions have chosen a restaurant, been seated, presented with menus and had your orders taken. When the food arrives, the server starts making you do all the work. It’s a conversation-stopper. Hands point to one another across the table. A glass of wine gets knocked over due to all the reaching and pointing. This system is known as “auctioning” food, and it’s a big no-no in fine dining table service. Continue reading Your number is up
There is an unfortunate side effect that comes with a career in the hospitality industry: It can be difficult to enjoy yourself while dining out. Continue reading Can’t Have Anything Nice
Folks who grew up in the 1970s will likely remember the Burger King ad-campaign jingle that went “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce — special orders don’t upset us! All we ask is that you let us serve it your way. Have it your way, have it your way …” Continue reading Have it your way?