I've heard many writers wax poetic about the wine and food business. There are many books that reveal secrets about food and wine that lead to one compelling conclusion:
The more you learn the more you realize the less you think you know.
I've been in the restaurant/hospitality business my whole life. I've worked from coast to coast, in the south, north, east and west. Each place I've worked has afforded me the opportunity to meet wonderful people that in some way shape or form has added to my culinary/hospitality "Journey".
Learning about the attitude of different parts of the country towards food and wine has broadened my horizons and given me real life perspective that weaves itself into the everyday work I enjoy.
In the east I learned about the wines of the finger lakes and farther north east that story book town, Niagara-on-the-Lake and their magical ice wines. And then there's the seafood that is indigenous to the eastern seaboard, and the commitment by local and world renowned chefs to bring the freshest ingredients from the farm to the table.
In the south I learned about the importance of specific cultures from Cuban to Hispanic and Cajun that create a tapestry of family dishes morphing into the commercial fair of the area exploding with spices and flavors I had never experienced before.
In the north I learned about honey, cultivating mushrooms, beautiful cheeses, and craft beers. These different products enlightened me to the love each artisan felt for their god given talent. If its a meal, a product, a gift each aforementioned experience is about the commitment to excellence that transcends price and pays homage to the caring nature and virtuosity of those so called to their craft.
In the west (where I grew up) I began the "Journey" thinking salmon was a round fish. The reason is because my mom prepared the salmon patty from a can shaping it into a perfect round circle.
I saw my first salmon (the whole fish) when I worked at the Caprice in Tiburon. I had never tasted anything so fantastic as that initial salmon dish (an employee meal) served with hollandaise sauce accompanied with scallop potatoes.
In the west I also learned about wine and food on a whole new level. Owning, managing, and being a server at some of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area taught me the value of service and how attention to detail should not be an after thought but a primary ingredient in the creation of a memorable dining experience.
Through-out my travels I was blessed to witness the depth of each artist's focus and passion, usually encompassing a specific field. This magnetic and transcendent energy gives me hope that all of us will find something we do for work that provides the inner peace associated with a blessed journey through life.
This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ "The Magic of Cooking" kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to wwwpazazshop.com to order these amazing kitchen tools tested by experts and found in the restaurants of 3 star Michelin Chef Jean George and Famous Bay Area Chef Michal Mina.