Saturday, May 17, 2008
I have a duty to my guests. I've been trying to put my finger on something for sometime and this evening I think I may have finally figured out what it is. What I've been trying to understand is that eternal question, "Why?" Why put myself through all the stress trying to make sure everything is right? Why spend so much time and effort in trying to produce great food? I have alluded to this numerous times and have even spent entire entries on it trying to understand, but this evening I had one of "aha!!" moments during service. This evening there was a couple dinning with us who read about our opening in Food Arts and flew up here from Chicago to eat at the restaurant. It was when the server told me this I had that "I get it" moment. I, we, chefs, struggle to give our all in making sure everything is as perfect as we can because it is our duty toward our guests. Why? Because they come to our restaurants expecting a certain experience. This couple came in tonight for dinner. They flew 325 miles to eat our food. What a disappointment it would have been if we served them a mediocre dinner. Now, because I don't know every time someone has come in for a special reason I have to make sure every dinner I serve is special. As our reputation grows people will more and more come to expect even more from us and we will have to rise to the challenge and meet their expectations. One bad meal is unacceptable. One bad dish is unacceptable. People come because they expect something special. It is my duty to meet those expectations. While not everyone will travel great distances to eat in our restaurant there will always be those who come in for some special occasion in their lives. It is my duty as a chef to make sure those special occasions are not marred by mediocrity. This charge must be seen from the first instance they come to that last good-bye. Everything from service to food to clean windows to fresh bread to everything must be as good as we can make it.