I’ve met thousands of people during my cooking career, which I think is one of the greatest parts of my job. Hearing people talk about wine and food and watching them get excited about something I’ve cooked for them is such a great feeling.
Not that everything I’ve cooked has been something to get excited about. I have definitely had a few fumbles. Luckily, I’m pretty calm in a crisis, and have completed more than a few Hail Mary passes.
So I’m trying to learn how to not take myself too seriously and remember that cooking is fun. Some days are harder than others. Like when you’re in the middle of a 650+ night, the hoods are making a funny sound, the back up soup is scorched, you’re selling way more fish than anticipated and getting close to running out, the computer freezes and orders are lost ... and that’s only 15 minutes of a 6-hour service.
I'm frequently amused by some of the questions that guests ask me after a glass or six of wine and a great big steak. Questions like:
Q: What do you think about all the new cooking/chef competition shows?
A: I don’t watch them.
Q: What’s it like being a female chef of a steak house?
A: I’m not sure I understand the question.
Q: You know, because you’re a lady.
A: Well, I don’t know anything about being a male chef, but being the chef of Delmonico Steakhouse is great.
Q: I thought all good chefs were fat.
A: Um, is that a question?
Q: What do you do when someone orders a steak well done?
A: I cook the steak well done.
Q: How do you feel if a guest wants ketchup for their steak?
A: I'd prefer they try our homemade steak sauce, but as long as they enjoy their meal, then, great!
Q: What’s your favorite cut of beef?
A: Rib eye, no question.
Q: What do you eat when you’re not at work?
A: Mostly sushi or Chinese food, and definitely popcorn at the movies.
Q: Can I come to your house for dinner?
A: If you like grilled cheese and cereal.
Q: Grilled cheese and cereal?
A: Well, it’s more like croque madame and Mom’s homemade granola, but yeah. What'd you expect, that I had my own dry-aging setup?
Any more questions?
Brad Kanipe — Atlanta — September 22, 2007 8:56am ET
Nathan Yap — Kealakekua, Hawaii — September 23, 2007 6:13pm ET
John Miller — Windsor, CA — September 27, 2007 8:26pm ET
Kevin Lewis — Baltimore,MD — September 27, 2007 8:28pm ET
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