Wednesday, September 22, 2004

One In Every Crowd

This is the reverse of what you probably think I'm going to say. No, there's not an asshole in every crowd, crowds are composed of assholes. There's one stellar diner or incident that makes it all worth it. We Chefs know the "common" palate, but it's not just relegated to chefs. In virtually every field, the passionate ones are the ones who watch the cattle going to their shutes and scream WHY!!!! Why are you leading yourself to slaughter? Passion is so unrewarded it makes it almost seem pointless. Pointless that is until you change a person's idea of food and dining. I had a vegetarian deuce the other night and I was kind of bored so I offered them a vegetarian tasting menu. One of them seemed enthused but he other was rather blase about it. I think he was a vegetarian by virtue of trying to get pussy and going along with the whole situation.I can't blame him. You gotta do what you gotta do. They both went for it. I can't remember how many courses, 7-8 if I recall( each course 2 distinctly different plays on the same items) and I like to get feedback after each course. One was ecstatic the whole way and the other seemed like they could care less. Until a simple course of Chilled Hearts of Celery with a Saffron and Sultana Vinaigrette hit, he came alive. I couldn't believe it. I was beginning to lose hope in him and something as simple as celery. I was shocked. In a good way. When they left they were so amazingly thankful that it made all the nightmares of this occupation worth it. Brief instances like this are the greatest rewards for pursuing one's passions. Not the slobs who want a "big ol' plate" of food. Not the rich pricks who have all the money in the world and live for acquisition, but don't enjoy their toys. Not the families who are being reared to be complacent in their tastes but forceful in their needs. I'm talking about the people who's mind gets opened with great flavors and tactile sensations. Sensations they never even knew they had. This is when I know I've done my job well. That rare, brief instant where the reaction of the customer tells you what all your sacrifice and headaches is about. Customers that notice the details. When they tell you" You really put your heart in what you do and it shows". It can come from someone simply noticing how good the butter is or when they slump back in their chairs pie eyed, content and there's not a morsel left on their plate. They're happy. THIS is the greatest feeling. If they get it from my most envelope pushing stuff, then I have hope because I know they have open minds.

There's still the other 30 shitheads ahead and behind them though. But they don't even exist when one person notices your effort. Hope. The scourge of principled dreamers. That's all we got.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was really eloquent. I can fully appreciate the sentiment. Also, I just really enjoy reading your blog, so please keep it up. Thanks.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you write really well. are you sure you're a chef?

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you write really well. are you sure you're a chef?

5:11 PM  
Blogger jaxun said...

You write really well. Are you sure you're a chef?

Are you sure? Like, really sure? Like, really REALLY sure? I mean, I've heard that chefs can cook really REALLY good and all, but you would have me believe you've learned to express your creative genius in some other medium not involving dishes? Yer a feakin' Da Vinci, or somethin', n' stuff!

Dear Sir and/or Madam: By wisely choosing to post anonymously, you have saved us all the embarrassment of knowing who hit the "publish comment" button twice.


Wait, I'm really sorry... just wanted to take a shot at playing angrychef for a minute. It felt good. Really REALLY good!

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you post and you don't see it respond, don't hit the button again. Computers and servers are high tech pieces of shit. It will post eventually, don't freak out and keep hitting the publish button.


9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is beyond great. I hope you end up putting out a book.

- Barry Graham

1:37 AM  

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