The night before I received an email titled “Summer Camps to Teach Children Restaurant Etiquette,” my husband and I had dinner at an upscale-casual Italian restaurant.A family of four at the table beside ours was celebrating the dad’s birthday.
In the South, we’d say the young woman waiting tables was blessed with the gift of gab.It was March 20, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament dominated TV screens in every sports bar, and at one Buffalo Brothers’ location the personable waitress was not missing a single service op as she chatted up tables, delivered orders, and replenished beverages before any glass went dry.
It was at least the hundredth nomination for a rising star that I’d read. I recognized neither the person offering the nomination, nor his company, nor the chef/owner being nominated. But the story of an entrepreneurial chef who turned a $250,000 business into one approaching $2 million at the end of its second year in a new location—and turned the economic tides in a small town at the same time—caught my attention.
Noise reigned: Between the kitchen and bar, roughly a dozen people were busily prepping for the night’s service at Washington’s acclaimed minibar.We were seated in barmini, Chef José Andrés and I, beside a door that opened into the kitchen of the adjoining minibar.
Those crystal ball projections that said sales in the full-service portion of the industry would top $277 billion this year appear to be on track. And in July, almost 60 percent of our readers told us their sales were ahead of the previous year.
What can you not leave home without?For Juan Coronado and Carlo Splendorini—two of the amazing cocktail wizards recognized in our Toast to 20 Best Beverage Programs—what they can’t do without is their jigger.
In the town where I live one of the historic homes, circa late 1800s, has passed from one restaurateur to another in the 15 years we’ve been here. The expansive front porch, aged wood floors, and nostalgic fireplaces drew me in—but I returned only when the food was as satisfying as the setting.
Gender inequality has rarely been a personal soapbox for me—I grew up with four brothers and learned early on to ignore the odds and just assert myself.But sometimes statistics give me pause. A newscast last month noted the national gap in gender pay is roughly 23 percent; so I went digging for details.
Fellow foodies, I’d like to take a moment to dish about what’s on our dishes. Believing that everyone in this industry has a passion for food, I think many of us share an occupational hazard—waist creep.
One of the things I love most in an interview is the unexpected answer. Like hearing Van Eure, owner and operator of The Angus Barn, describe herself as a teacher.Van is the consummate business woman and omnipresent restaurateur, with a commanding and sophisticated presence.
Welcome to FSR!I barely got here before you, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading this issue as much as I’ve enjoyed the whirlwind weeks since I joined this talented FSR team.My adventure with FSR began with an initial meeting in mid-September, on my birthday actually, which I read as a fortuitous omen.