Trivia hound Ben Schott has a new piece in the New York Times explicating some of the more family friendly terms and codes used in the restaurant trade.
The list dwells on lingo specific to certain restaurants, and my personal favorites on the list include Union Square Cafe's "with a story," meaning lots of conditions on the order, the understandably unattributed "artichoke," an attractive female diner, and The Dutch's indiscriminate use of "the guy" for any object, as in "take the guy (the broom) and sweep the floor."*
Reposting a video that came my way via Carlos Yescas: a rather pointed reminder of who's cooking in the kitchen.
Not only are Mexican immigrants supplying raw labor in restaurants in California—and around the country—but they're applying their skills to the dishes as master craftsmen. I'm reminded of Anthony Bourdain's typically unvarnished praise from Kitchen Confidential:
While I wish more than anything that I could stay in this golden phase of my life, a phase that consists almost entirely of late nights, papers on Salinger and Nietzsche, coffee, and cheese, I’m afraid all of it is a week from being over. You see, I’m graduating from UC Davis this quarter, and, sadly, leaving my internship at culture with this final blog post.
So, considering the fact that this post might be the last legitimate excuse I’ll have to order an entire cheese plate for myself, I asked Will if I could try doing it on my own. No cheesemongers, no explanations—just an interaction between myself and a pretty perfect plate of cheese.
Bear with me. There will be puns.
Well, it finally happened. Perhaps the most infamous cheese in the world has arrived in the US: Ornella Trattoria in New York has apparently imported the cheese, and Bradley Hawks has the story at his blog, Amuse Bouche.
Update: Original tipster Matt Spiegler notes: "I called the restaurant, and the person on the phone (I think it was the owner) was very clear about the fact that they DO NOT sell it, but rather offer it as a tasting treat for customers."
Sunday night is typically a slow one at the ol’ restaurant, and the staff is pared down accordingly. This can result in hairy situations. This past Sunday, when 7:30pm rolled around, it seemed that ALL the residents of Boston made the choice to dine out.
As promised, I’ll share my Valentines Day cooking adventure. Instead of cooking for one special someone, I helped run around for about twenty hungry companions. A friend, chef/ owner of Nudel Restaurant, and I collaborated on a cheese inspired Valentine’s Day tasting. Besides chopping and slinging sauté pans, I took the honor of picking out 4 contrasting and unique domestic cheeses from Rubiner’s...
We do an internal culture Friday news email because we’re scattered to the 4 winds. We tell what’s on our minds. This week I included a NYTimes article about OpenTable
I happily work for (restaurant) people I both like and respect, but there’s a certain in-charge person at my workplace that I can’t bring myself to enjoy. The feeling is clearly mutual, and nary a day goes by without said PERSON telling me I’m an idiot (in one way or another), or whittling away at my self-respect with persistent condescension. Hmph. Curbing my rage and subsequent bitter responses is a great exercise in restraint. Luckily, interactions like the following, furnish me with all the vindication I need.
Me: Where is the goat cheese we use in our [blahblahblah] salad from?
Evil Powerful One: Vermont
Me: do you know who makes it?
Evil Powerful One: Laura Chenel
Me: Oh really? Thanks. (silent interior victory dance)
Late one night a few months ago, at my place of (waitressing) employment, a British couple plunked themselves down at our little bar. The bartender that night (Josh, let’s call him) chatted them up for a little while, before, serendipitously, the conversation turned to cheese.
Sidenote: I find it incredible how often this happens without even a nudge from someone like me!
Anyways , this lovely (they were!) couple from across “the pond” said:
“Well you don’t have any cheese to speak of here, now do you?”
The other day, when I slipped in a puddle of olive oil while doing a rushed trot up the stairs at my “other” job, I was comforted by the knowledge that culture is part of my life. As I fell, the dirty glassware in my hands crashed to the ground in an epic display of noise. Menus slipped out from under my elbow and slid back down the stairs. As is typical in my life at the restaurant, EVERYONE was watching. Managers zoomed in for damage control, picking up debris as I got to my feet and apologized “wow, that olive oil slick is pretty serious…” etc. They asked me if I was alright (the only answer is YES), and told me to tuck in my shirt.
I pictured them all in a closed room, laughing maniacally as they crossed my name off of a giant list of “people worth keeping around.”