continuation of why we are doing this..
I teach cooks everyday.
How to be more efficient, work faster, think about their third move before they’ve even made their second - I've just recently realized I am good at this.
I watch cooks - I tell them tiny things about their movements that will make their plates come up faster and cleaner.
Cooks watch me - which I still find bizarre, but it requires me to make sure I make every movement count.
What is still amazing to me is that when I teach, manage, and expedite - people listen.
I have nearly 20 years of experience in hospitality. From working in a bakery at 12 years old, through summer beach snack bars, captaining waitstaff of weddings, line cook, sous chef, chef de cuisine - I've seen a lot.
Burns, cuts, fights between cooks, fights between guests, theft, drugs, and alcohol are all pretty normal. It normally takes someone else’s story for me to realize the amount of absurdity I've witnessed: ansul systems mis-firing, cooks getting arrested mid-service for not paying child support, DOH inspectors doing things “unethically”.
I’ve slept with hostesses, waitresses, and pastry chefs.
I've seen catering equipment fall out of our truck and litter the highway in the middle of rush hour traffic.
I've witnessed probably every form of sexual harassment known to human resources in any field.
I've seen dishwashers with such natural talent that they are able to make a 98% perfect quenelle of ice cream their first try.
I've carried a skinned goat in a clear plastic trash bag through a very busy east village and bought salmon in sketchy china town basements where no gringo had any business going.
I’ve seen death and still struggle with blaming myself for not scheduling the cook for that sixth shift the day he died when I had the opportunity to do so.
I’ve cried in walk-ins and still do.
These hands, my left which isn’t fully functional after I had the tendons severed in two of the fingers and my right which has a tattoo of my first japanese knife, have cooked more way prime rib than most grandparents, who ritualistically do so every Christmas.
I was kicked out of culinary school the day my family flew across country to visit.
I’ve received the best pep talks and probably given some of the worst.
I've had campylobacter and refused to call out sick resulting in me shitting my pants on the line during service.
So when people ask why I am creating a brand focusing on the service industry, or when I am criticized for product simplicity and such a niche market, my only thought is to keep going. I've suffered through many instances where any prudent individual would have given up.
I’m going to keep trying.