Someone pointed out I shouldn't leave readers dangling. The plumbing was fixed the morning after the debacle. Fortunately our city council member-plumber is a really skinny guy and was able to wriggle under the building to get to the spot where the blockage was. Mr Screwed did his bit and the water flows freely. The music is back on and spring weather prevails.
It evidently is spring break somewhere in our trading area. The customers have kept coming. Fortunately after Monday we are better prepared. Unfortunately, this means no days off. This is what an old friend calls a high class problem.
The new menu approach is working. At least for me it is. Our asparagus dish was tanking and the price of asparagus shot through the roof so we replaced it with grilled vegetables and green pea pancakes.
I've tried out two of the new Mayans although it was pretty hard to evaluate one of them since it was the evening of hell. I'm calling them today to offer jobs and to see when they can start. I've got two more tryouts, both part-timers and I'm pretty sure I'll be hiring one of them.
This is part of my plan to become an owner. My business card says chef/owner but my day typically doesn't reflect that. Most of my days are spent doing prep, production and working the line. All of which I love but all of which can be done by others. Thomas Keller can give a nice interview and say he loves to tourne a case of artichokes, and he probably does but if he doesn't do it, it will get done. He also said in an interview when he opened Bouchon that the French Laundry has fulfilled his creative goals, Bouchon will fill his financial goals.
Don't get me wrong. Thomas Keller I'm not, nor do I think I'd want to be. But I do need to spend less time as a line cook and more time on new dishes. More time on equipment maintenance schedules to avoid problems like we've had. More time giving menus to local B&B's. More time focusing on ordering, cost control and better sources. More time at home to enjoy what I'm working hard to afford.
The GM is much better than I at systems and holding people accountable for their implementation. Perhaps she can help me work out a reasonable schedule for myself and my crew. I don't want to remove myself from the kitchen and I don't want things to fall apart when I have to.
Don't worry though. I'm sure there will be other crises to entertain you.
We've been getting some beautiful wild striped bass. Last night we served it with a ruby port sauce. I've been getting a lot of inspiration from Alfred Portale lately. I know Gotham style presentation is a bit hackneyed these days so I'm not doing architecture (ok, some of the desserts maybe) but there's much about his style that attracts me. He's in NY, 12th street to be exact, he has a background in jewelry design, he's not gay although looking at him with his arched, plucked looking eyebrows and what looks like a layer of pancake makeup but is probably an artificially maintained tan you might think he was a big queen, he really revolutionized presentation of food and until pretty recently with his partnership with Mr. Starr of Philadelphia has stuck to one restaurant, unlike many high profile chefs.
On the last paragraph, I'm not saying being gay is a bad thing. But when you're straight and you're a guy who doesn't like sports, likes fashion, reads Genet, Mishima and Rechy alongside Miller (Arthur and Henry) and Mailer and know who Tallulah Bankhead was sometimes people get confused. I hear the term for this is metrosexual but I'm not in a metro area and it's kind of a stupid word. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Let's just I'm more drawn to Portale's style than say, Charlie Palmer's who looks like a football bully.
OK, off to the dentist, then a little prep, then to acupuncture, then back for another evening of hopefully very busy, very smooth service.