All dressed up and no place to go?
Posted 20 April 2002 - 02:13 PM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 02:22 PM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 07:56 PM
good point, and one that i was going to bring up. someone above mentioned "unshaven", presumably to paint the picture of someone who was clearly not "dressed the part". since when does a beard, mustache, or five o'clock shadow make a man look unkempt across the board? don johnson put an end to this mindset (if it ever existed) back in 1982 or so.
I bet if Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise showed up at ADNY the staff would let him in with smiles on their faces even if he were wearing a loincloth.
i'm guessing that this is a generational issue for the most part. younger people don't buy into dressing up. hell, even most businesses don't require jackets in NYC. and trust me, i ain't going home after work to change into a suit to go out to eat.
i'm suprised no one has mentioned broadway plays. oh how my 80 year old mother in law pines for the days when people would "dress snazzy and go out on the town". yawn.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 08:00 PM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 08:46 PM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 09:09 PM
I am rarely offended or jealous when others arrive dressed in an extremely casual manner, however. That they look as if they don't belong doesn't matter to me. At any rate, this is the trend here in NY and moreso in France. At three forks and spoons, it seems a jacket is optional in Paris. Even at Ducasse I am told, "you'd be surprised at how people dress." At Bras, Close des Cimes and Les Loges (Lyon) jacket and tie were in the minority.
Another thing I share with Wilfrid is the acceptance of nearly naked women in a fine restaurant and just about any other place.
While I'm perfectly happy to wear a jacket and tie, I have no problem removing my jacket if the room is too hot.
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Posted 21 April 2002 - 12:28 AM
Posted 21 April 2002 - 11:27 AM
i'm one of those who prefers not to "dress up" for dinner. "dressing up" is for the office, funerals, weddings, and other occasions that you'd just as soon avoid. dinner should be relaxing. i avoid those places where most are dressed up, so those that might be offended by my khakis and polo shirt don't have to see me!
i'm with you, tommy. i love clothes as much as anyone i know, which is a bit ironic since i hate getting dressed up--i am a teacher and get up each morning and carefully choose something fabulous--by the time i get home end of the day i feel like i've been run through a steam press--time for the jeans and Ts , or Old Navy JUST BOTTOMS. so more often than not i'm gonna choose a casual restaurant.
on the other hand, i think the idea of getting smashingly dressed for a really special meal is nice--it would be something i'd do very rarely, though. which is kinda the point, right, that there should be really special restaurants for really special meals and really special occasions [tho it's fine if people like to have a really special meal once a week!!! or every night!!!!].
nina, i'm not going to visit that other site, but i take liza's word for it and i agree, how dare they be mean to you. seems like anyone who dares suggest that looking nice and neat and appropriate is some horrible unPC elitist--when in fact all over the world even people very poor by our western standards are very clean and neat and dress far more formally than we do. REVERSE LOOK-ISM!
Posted 21 April 2002 - 02:36 PM
Basildog -- Not appreciating your particular circumstances, I would think that your appearing in chefs' whites while performing front office duties would be fine. Here are some considerations (as you know, not based on any experience in the restaurant industry, so to be taken with a grain of salt):
I wear chefs whites because i,m still cooking , but after reading this thread, shoud i be worried?
(1) If you are out in the dining room area too much during the service, some clients may wonder who is preparing their meal. This issue is more of a concern for instantly-recognisable chefs like Guy Savoy in Paris. If you were similarly known by your community in Padstow that makes up your clients, they may wonder who is preparing their dishes.
(2) I assume that your whites are not all stained up and very dirty-looking. If they are that way, consider using a cleaner apron to cover up some of the dirtied areas near the front of your whites. Also, now that you are appearing up front more, it might be good to ensure (as you have been, I am sure) that your hair, nails, etc. look appropriately clean.
(3) I assume that, when you are visible in the dining room area, you appear relatively calm and in control of the situation. You might want to reconsider if, for example, you are walking around so briskly that clients may perceive you are somehow frantic about something.
(4) Then, there is the question of selectively greeting diners as you walk into the dining room. If you greet some (e.g., the ones who are repeat clients) and not others, you should consider how other clients might take it (I am not suggesting a different course of action on your part, just to be cognizant of "perceptions" of disparate treatment by diners.)
Sorry if the above seems obvious, and represent what you are already mindful of.
What would you recommend I preorder if I were to come by in early May? Are there dishes that you consider particularly delicious?
On dressing in general, it is reality that at least restaurants in Paris do take note of how diners dress. Regardless of whether it is appropriate for restaurants to do so, one does get treated better by dressing stylishly and dressing as though one intended to go to a restaurant. For example, I always use small clutch handbags. I notice some women utilizing large tote bags that they might bring to work or use to carry things around in in general. While they are, of course, free to continue to do that, particularly in the evening one could consider a smaller shoulder bag or a clutch handbag. I dress up. I am not saying this is right, just that at times it can respond to practical considerations.
Plus, significantly, I can get ready very quickly. (I might balance things out differently if it took me a long time to get ready in this way.)
Posted 21 April 2002 - 05:38 PM
I think this will work, mostly because we are so small, and i can keep my eye on everything. After 3 years of doing every main course, most of the starters, and 70% of the rest of the prep, its a bit strange, too say the least!
BTW David did the '98 season with me , before we purchased the bistro, so its not like a 'new' chef
I just feel that i have to delgate some of the cooking, share the workload with a proper chef , as opposed to the helpers i have had in the past.This does free me up to see to other matters, like looking after the customers.
to reply to your points...
1) People can see whos cooking, and i make a point of telling people thats it David at the stoves. Our regulars like to know the ins and outs of everything, and were not shy in telling them anything and everything they wish to know( and sometimes , more than they need !)
2) Of course, clean jacket and apron for service. Nails , not pretty, but clean. Hair covered by baseball hat ( i'm not a fan of big chefs hats, plus i'm 6 ft and we got a low canopy)
3) Hmmmm, am i calm? I rush about alot, but not frantic. If i,m tied up by a table, then David or assitant will bring food to the table. I compare it to juggling..we all cover each other , so no one drops a ball !
4) Everyone is greeted by me when i,m working out front. If in the kitchen, then i will see everyone by the end of the night. I don't cruise the tables, but i just say hello!we treat everyone the same (honest)
Posted 21 April 2002 - 06:35 PM
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