Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Service Memories

If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you have horror stories. Rude customers (let's just give them numbers one through five on this list), imperious prima donna bosses, the revelation that food can be pretty gross, and, if you've worked in the kitchen (which is my background) you know just how much manual labor is involved when it is your shift to wash the dishes. And then there is the heat, good God, the heat.

Despite all of the complaints, I owe a debt of gratitude to the time I spent in the kitchen at the Backside Inn in Goshen, New Hampshire. (Goshen represent!) While there I learned how to cook. I spent one summer doing nothing but baking and making salads, and that gave me a solid foundation and passion for cooking that never subsided. And that summer I got out of the nighttime kitchen drudgework. I was the equivalent of a white-collar worker that last summer.

Memories of that time came back to me when I read this interview in The Boston Globe with someone known only as "The Waiter," who is the keeper of Waiter Rant, a blog based on his table-jackeying in New York City. He is also the author of a new book, Waiter Rant: Thanks For the Tip -- Confessions of a Cynical Waiter. I'm sure most of you have done your time in the food service industry. This may either bring back deeply repressed memories or stir that bittersweet blend of nostalgia and revulsion that so many incidents from our past do.

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