Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Sneak Peek

Mariano takes a moment to ponder what's going on in the prep kitchen.

I'm hanging out at Woodberry Kitchen in my first real taste of a working professional kitchen. I dropped by to deliver a soup warmer and found the crew in the midst of their first revenue service catering a rehearsal dinner and found myself working the position I'm most suited for in the kitchen: opening and closing the door.

It's a small crowd of about forty people and everyone is finding their groove. I find it fascinating to see how other people get their businesses off the ground. There's that mix of trepidation and excitement. No matter how good your crew is, you just never know how it's going to come together until service begins. Like in the coffee business - sure you've got that newfangled Clover, but will it work as promised when there's a line twenty deep? You hope. You pray. But you never know because at any moment, all hell can (and will) break loose.

Sliced ribeye and crab cake with potatoes au gratin. Good stuff. BTW, this isn't the plating - I've already dug into the food.

Looking around, things are relatively quiet in the kitchen. The dinner entrees are going out the door while Isaiah is figuring out the plating for the dessert course. It's interesting to see everyone working. I know all of them but until now, it's always been on a casual level - just hanging out and doing whatever. But right now, they're focused and trying to find the best path to work out the kinks and get their "sea legs" back.

It's a tough night and while the guests are very pleased with the food and had a great time (this blog was very excited with his ribeye and crabcake), one gets the sense that no one in the kitchen is satisfied. They wanted to do better. They wanted a better performance. They're not satisfied.

Perhaps that's the hallmark of something worthwhile. No one is "satisfied." It's never "good enough." It can always be improved upon and made better.

Personally speaking, I thought the food was darned good and cannot wait to see what "better" is going to be like. At the very least, the press pot prepared coffee from Counter Culture is ready to go!