How much do you expect from your chef? Some folks are pretty damn nervy if you ask me. Sitting at fine dining establishment recently (not in St. Louis…for those wondering) I saw countless amounts of patrons just walk back to the kitchen DURING DINNER SERVICE to thank the chef. While the praise is welcomed…the invasion of this kitchen was not. I just find this practice to be so very very rude. Unless you are good friends with the chef (and good friends know when their buds are busiest) you should not go back in the kitchen unless invited.
This rant was born after reading an article NY Times this afternoon. The role of the chef.
Grab a stool and belly up to a new brand of upscale dining, where closeness to the cook comes with your meal as routinely as bread. Although counter seating, open kitchens, and chef’s tables are not new to the scene, Momofuku Ko and a few other restaurants are reaching for a new level of intimacy. The chefs are not only cooking and plating the food, but also serving it, taking coats, recommending wine and confirming reservations.
“Everyone who works here is a chef, and everyone is also a dishwasher,” said Michael Carlson, the chef at Schwa in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, which serves elaborate multi-course menus of dishes such as parsnip custard with ice-wine vinegar caramel, candied sweetbreads and a lavender lecithin bubble. (It’s a dessert.)
So often patrons want that intimacy with their chef….and the feeling of prestige or entitlement arises when spending your valuable time & money in their restaurant.
But I ask this…how much can one person do? They are only human…why do we constantly expect super-human from a person who just has a passion for food and wants to share it with you.