Maybe dining is changing and it isn’t the recession that is keeping people away from fine dining restaurants but that rich educated people are looking to spend there money in places using ethical, alternative ingredients, like us and mass produced meat is going extinct. (I wrote this during a recession in Vancouver. I think of it often while I try to move our restaurants forward.)
I remember when I first started cooking I didn’t want to share any of my ways of doing things I wanted to only take knowledge from the people around me. Mostly because I new virtually nothing and I lack common sense so I wanted to learn good ways to do things. In one kitchen I had a chef that would say, “Make a potato and leek puree, for a dish on the new menu.”
I would say, “I’ve never made one before, can you give me a quick run down?”
He would say, “No you just make it.”
Me, “But you’ve made it before, you can tell me what mistakes to avoid and save yourself product and time.”
I wouldn’t actually say that, but I would think it. I got used to powering through on my own but it was a really hard way to learn and the worst was when he would say that what I created was “good enough”. I had to hold myself to my own standard. Later I learned that my standard wasn’t the highest it could be, and this got me thinking. I decided to go to Coi to observe a very high standard so I could learn where to set my own standards. I may not be making the same level of food, but I can adhere to the same level of standards. I think once the standards are ingrained into you they are there for life, it takes constantly asking yourself is this good enough and could it be improved.
My favourite mug chipped. Beautifully wrapped tea cups. We had to mercy kill a pigeon that got caught in the exhaust fan.