Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Restaurant Club

Something I was thinking about is how all of us in the business are related. Most of us have never met each other. Yet by virtue of our profession we remain close colleagues. It's like a big psychotic fraternity. we can go anywhere in the world and find comfort in a kitchen. All cooks and kitchen's run with 95% percent the same deviance, dedication and purpose. What got me thinking about this was cooking in Mexico for a couple weeks. Within 2 days, the saute guy gave me the "Psst..come here look." He then pulled out a little bag of coke and I disappeared into the bathroom. While I was cringing, I kept thinking how funny it was that we're all the same no matter where you are . The psychosis of cooking breaks down virtually all walls and builds bonds stronger than most. A bonding of souls I guess. Similar to cops, fireman and other alienating professions where only the people in that group can relate. Ever notice how uncomfortable it feels to be around the "regular"public? Maybe that's just me.
Put me in a room of non-restaurant people and I'm ready to slit my throat in 10 minutes. I simply don't know what a normal life is. Put me in a room of restaurant people and I'll laugh and party all night. This business does ruin you. I find calm, everday life incredibly dull now. I crave action at all times. I think I've developed A.D.D. from years of 60 second deadlines. But the funny thing is, I like it. I like being part of a fucked up group of people. People who I might add work their asses off, any of who's backs I've got. I don't care if you've quit on me, fucked me up somehow in this business. If you're still in it, I'm with you till death. Like one big dysfunctional family. PERFECT! Besides, we've been ruined...what else COULD we do. Personally I'd be a military sniper, but now I'm too old. Maybe freelance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Besides, we've been ruined...what else COULD we do."

I hear you on that one! I thought I wanted out and even tried getting a desk job for awhile. That was the dumbest thing I could have done. I was ready to rip my hair out after about a week of sitting at a desk. Give me the insanity of the kitchen any day!
-bakery bitch

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the course of the last forty years I have been closely connected to both restaurants and those who run them. As a law student in England I supplemented my meager income by singing and playing guitar at my local steak house. That experience showed me what a bunch of self-centered pricks customers can be (Hell hath no fury like the strolling minstrel who has been given a tip by a customer in return for _not_ playing!). Many years later I was a practising barrister in Hong Kong and had the very good fortune to act on behalf of most of the hoteliers/restauranteurs/chefs etc. in that most hedonistic of cities. I learned a couple of valuable lessons: If you have enjoyed a dish, don't send for the chef to tell him so; ask the waiter to tell him how delicious it was and send him a beer. Kitchens are hot places and a beer goes down well. When the chef has the time he will come out to receive the praise, and perhaps a glass of wine, personally. Lesson two: good manners beats over-tipping most of the time. Oh, and most important of all, if you can 'get in' with the restaurant it. They are the most fun, hospitable and grateful group of people I have ever had the pleasure to be around!

chef, your postings are a treat. I wish I could send you a beer!

1:11 PM  

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