Saturday, December 8, 2012

From Kitchen to Table

For the past week, I've been serving guests lunch at Caterina de' Medici.

  Never have I ever waited tables.

On the first day, I was completely terrified.

Would I be able to carry three plates?

Would the martini glasses REALLY stay perpendicular if I didn't look at the tray?

My confidence was shaken. I felt robotic and awkward. I was unsure of my every move.

I made my fair share of mistakes, however; I have learned the importance of atmosphere, service and the dynamics of opperating a restaurant.

SIDE NOTE:  No drinks have been spilled in the making of this post. I have somehow managed to keep my beverage trays stable. (knock on wood)
Beet Salad. Carrots. Mustard Greens.

Earlier this week, my class was invited to enjoy a complimentary meal prepared and served by the evening Caterina de' Medici class. It was elegant and relaxing. I could now see the flow of service from the perspective of a guest. Watching my friends and colleagues execute fine dining service put my nerves at ease.

Grilled Venison Loin. Polenta Croutons. Porcini Mushrooms.  (AMAZING!)

I realized that "reading the guest" is more important than following a list of steps and procedures. The most important thing is to make the guest feel welcomed, appreciated and comfortable!

My friends and I ordered Chianti Classico for our meal!

I was unfamiliar with the evening menu and had difficulty in making my selections (we could choose any 3 courses!). I realized how important it was for the server to be connected to the kitchen, educated and excited about the food and beverage selections. They are the ultimate resource for the guest.

Chocolate and Squash Tart.

It was an incredible experience and my class felt lucky to have such a wonderful meal. I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the "PM" class for being so hospitable! It was truly a delicious and educational experience :).



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