Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Like Food! Food Tastes Good!

"Juicy burgers, greasy fries
Turkey legs and raw fish eyes
Teenage girls, with ketchup too!
Get out of my way, or Ill eat you
I like food, food tastes good!
I like food, food tastes good!
Im going to turn dining back into eating."

"I Like Food" The Descendants

An old 16 second long hard-core punk song from back in the day! Just a little something to get back into the swing of things. I guess that I have never been much of a diarist, but always wanted to write something. Every time that I would write a paper in school or for anything, I would always get comments from the teacher or professor. They would always give me an "A" (even though many times I had only written it the night before) and question me on the way that I wrote. I remember writing many weird things in college. There was the time that I wrote why the Clash song "Rudy Can't Fail" was really the best way to go through life. I got an "A," and had my 60 year old prof. listening to the Clash soon after. I also once got a "C-" on a paper, but that was a difference of "opinion." A geology professor of mine asked our class to write an "opinion" piece about "Earth Day." I told her (in 750 words) that it was nothing but a bunch of tree-hugging ex-6o's radicals trying to "foster awareness" and then raping the government for billions and trying to hurt capitalism. I used evidence to point out my case, and included articles I had clipped about Earth Day from the Washington Post. I wish that I still had that paper. I saved it for many years after I wrote it. Everyone else in the class toed the line and handed in gobbledy-gook, many of them hand-written. I am sure that there were some "B's," but I didn't see any of them, only "A's." I had the C-minus, and scribbled into the paper in green felt pen were dozens of comments to each of my statements, many of them quite nasty in nature. The double spacing, the margins, the indices, headers and footers were filled with green ink. The back of the paper, too. There was also a giant green "SEE ME AFTER CLASS" at the top. When I saw her after class she got all flustered, and could barely speak. I had touched a nerve with my writing, and then simply rubbed her nose in the assignement: "Professor, you wanted an "OPINION" on Earth Day and I gave you mine, backed it up wth evidence, and for THAT I got a C-minus?" I ended up with an "A" in the course, and always kept that paper as a source of pride. In my nomadic mid 20's it was somehow placed in a pile of old shit that got thrown away.

Anyhow, I have been working in the restaurant industry now for going on near a decade. I have worked at some upscale places, some middle of the road places and some REALLY cserappy ones. I have bartended, waited tables and managed in these places. As of late, I have been working again in casual dining. Not low end, actually kind of high end casual dining, but casual nonetheless. So there is this fine dining restaurant opening up here real soon and a few of the people I work with got it in their heads that they should go and apply. They asked me to go with them, and to my surprise wanted me to go with them "because we know that you (me) will be a slam-dunk/no brainer!" I was a bit surprised at that comment, and almost wondered aloud why they thought that. They figured that with "me" there, that they could ride my coat-tails into a fine-dining job without any experience in the fine-dining area of the industry. Well I got the job, and they didn't. I will now leave the casual dining scene behind me, and go into fine-dining. My friends were offered the job of "food-runners" which is a step below server, and a direct and natural step before serving. They passed. Since I had experience in upscale places, and lots of bartending experience, I will now take over a fine dining bar! 150-soon to be 250 different bottles of wine(we will be adding regularly until we get to 250, non-pedestrian wines,) every damn liqour-liqueur there is known to man, all served along with the freshest prime seafood, steaks and produce (and expensive) that the world can produce. Yup, this is the world of the $12 cocktail, the $18 appetizer, $30 glass of wine and $80 steaks. Don't get me started on the live Maine lobsters. Fucking fries will be $7.25! There are no sandwiches on the menu here! I am a bit stressed and nervous and happy all at the same time. I am stressed because my bartending knowledge is very rusty/pedestrian at this point. I went and bought a New York Baretnders Guide and it looks painful. There is so much to know, and as a fine dining bartender, it will be my job to know and tell it. There is also wine. Now Alli and I can drink some wine. We love to find good wine and match it to food. We nearly always buy a bottle when we go out and eat. Now I am expected to sell a $200 bottle of Meritage to the customers to "properly enjoy their rack of lamb." Well when you sell that bottle of wine, they practically expect you to know the vintner personally! Either that or at the very least know the rainfall for that area of the Sonoma Valley that year! That is simply out of my league! Now we will have a sommelier, and the owner is also a long-time sommelier, so that is all cool, but do you want to open a $200 bottle of wine and make a mistake in the Emily Post ettiquette of the situation? Me niether. I am excited about the learning aspect of it all as well. Once I have worked in a place of this caliber, it is unlikely that I will ever be turned away snootily at any other restaurant in the country. I could apply as manager, bartender, server or whatever. Two years at a place like this on my resume and I am in anywhere. I plan on taking this very seriously, and will be studying like mad for the next month or so to get my knowledge "up to speed." I will take the time on this blog to update when I can, but who the hell knows.

Well I know one thing: