Less than two weeks ago, LEO Weekly staff writer Danielle Grady interviewed me for a piece about sick leave in the local hospitality industry. I was glad to help her because I was already writing a similar piece, but she got the assignment first, and it was an important subject. At that time, the buzz phrase going around was “if you feel sick, stay home”, and we discussed how that was really not workable for people who live paycheck to paycheck. It’s also frowned upon in kitchen culture – you come to work, no matter how shitty you feel, or leave your co-workers in a lurch.
That all seems rather quaint now. Continue reading Welcome home, Chickens
A sous chef speaks to a server in a steamy kitchen. “Okay, that’s the special eighty-sixed. Eighty-sixed, you hear me? And if I get one more order for it, I’m gonna lose my -” (ticket printer chirrups) “OH MY GOD! Get me Lance right now!” Continue reading A Kitchen Conversation, Translated
Per my request, Santa brought me an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas, pre-loaded with everyone’s favorite virtual assistant, Alexa.
This morning as I was settling in at my writing desk, I asked: “Alexa: how many days until the Kentucky Derby 2020?”
“2020 Kentucky Derby is in 128 days, on May 2, 2020,” she replied cheerfully.
“What is the date of Mother’s Day, 2020?” Continue reading Happy New Year, Alexa!
I recently stopped in on a Monday for breakfast at a diner near where I work. The place was busy, but not full. I wasn’t greeted, as I had been on each previous visit. Continue reading Two Tales of Heroism in Restaurant Service
The scenario: An alarm goes off in a dark bedroom. A lamp switches on. A man arises, dons a starched white chef jacket, places a coffee pod briefly in a shiny, complicated-looking appliance, and enjoys the beverage that emerges. Before leaving home, he grabs a hand-made shopping basket he picked up on his last trip to Guatemala, and says goodbye to his faithful dog. Continue reading That’s Showbiz, Folks!
Recently, while I was dining out, there was a table of folks nearby. One member of their party was a new adopter of the ketogenic (keto) diet. He was pretty animated as he discussed it, so we could overhear a lot of the conversation. Continue reading The Keto Mosquito
“The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.” –George Costanza, “The Marine Biologist” Seinfeld, Season 5 Episode 14, February, 1994
President Donald Trump’s visit to Louisville last week got me thinking about how to properly, politely and successfully send a dish back in a restaurant with minimal disruption to your or your companions’ meals. (“Send It Back! Send It Back!”) Continue reading Speaking of Sending Things Back
The Hype Man got me this week.
If you’re not sure what a Hype Man is, just picture Flava Flav, the guy from Public Enemy who sports the giant clock pendant and oversize sunglasses. His entire function in the band was to get the crowd going, praise the lead singer, and make the people want more. Continue reading Hype, Man
Like the general population, professional cooks come in a whole spectrum of shapes, sizes and personalities, ranging from angels to assholes. But there’s one thing most of us have in common on a daily basis: we’re hungry. Continue reading Milk Crate Blues
Abraham Lincoln once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” In a restaurant, “sharpening the axe” is all the prep that goes into a successful service. Continue reading Sharpening the Axe