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Everything posted by FabulousFoodBabe

  1. I'm loving this thread. So sorry I came in on it kinda late. If we entertain for business, and sometimes larger parties for fun (such as, honoring someone who's done something amazing), I hire helpers. I do the food, and they finish and serve it with a little direction from me. But for the many more casual dinners we have, I do this: -Tell people to bring nothing. If they do, they're in charge of it. Of course, I don't tell them that! -Tell people to wear what they want, and then tell them what I'm wearing and stick to it (usually, "Fabby will be in the jeans that fit her best on that day!" keeps potentially nervous people from feeling overdressed.) I also keep my shoes on, and encourage others to do so because Jean-Luc adores bare and stocking'ed feet. -Meet people at the door with the following: Big hug, glass of champagne or bubbly water, and a hat full of jobs on slips of paper. Everyone gets as many hugs or bubblies as they want, but only one job. Trading is allowed, but we do try to discourage people from selling their jobs to others. -Because of this, plating and clearing can be done with minimal fuss. My houses are for living in, though I do draw the line at rollerblades in the foyer (sorry, Fresser). Crumbs are handled by Roombas, Swiffers and the Hound-dog (not in that order), marks on the floor are a small price to pay for a house full of happy people. Any object that I don't want handled or couldn't bear if it was broken or damaged, is put away. That includes Baccarat crystal purchased on trip to Paris in the 80s (franc was 10 to a dollar, sigh). It does not include my collection of pig salt & pepper shakers (some R-rated), which grace the table with my husband's family silver, and the Santa Claus china that I use to supplement the plain stuff. And yes, I'm considered weird because of this attitude. I also can't remember the last time someone regretted an invitation without giving a concrete reason, or showed up late, or didn't laugh themselves sick at my table.
  2. I live in the 'burbs. When I was actively looking for work, I had more than one chef refuse to speak with me once the GM got me in for an interview. I have great experience backed by formal education (or vice versa), and great references and people who will speak for me. I know it's because of my age -- and I don't look it. A few have come out and said so -- one person wasn't even interviewing me for a cooking job, and cited my age as a "concern -- we don't normally have older people working here." She was about my age, btw, and her Botox didn't help.* Question: How many of you chefs are really looking for a 20something, preferably a male? You might say you're looking for anyone who wants to work and learn, but are you sure you don't eliminate some people, just because? I admit that too many middle-aged women have the 'tudes that mess it up for the rest of us, but still. I've yet to hear a chef refusing to hire a 22 year old because s/he might show up late and hung over on Sunday morning. (*Meow!)
  3. Coming in late, here ... To me, it's not professional writing if you are accountable to no one else. It needs to be edited, you need to back up what you've written. I can say that Cool-Whip has a half-life of 10,000 years but if I can't back it up with a reliable source, it's just me, yakking. Purging all over the page is a diary to me and while it's sometimes amusing, it's not "writing." as for the eG people who have been offered paid work based on their writings, to that I say, "now you're a pro."
  4. Doc, what a great report -- I am addicted to those foie and chocolate wafers. Also, the little beet sliders are amazing, arent' they? I can see it now: Fabby's Foie 'n' Beet Burgers. Mmmm. Those eggs used to be cooked in certain quantities, in a certain sized pot, for an exact amount of time, before they could be prepped for frying. Sous vide is probably easier!
  5. Miz Ducky: You da babe! No one wears a hat like you. Oh, OT, sorry. Sheepish grin.
  6. My disclaimer: Mike Anthony can do (almost) no wrong, in my eyes. Great chef, teacher, human being, and fellow native Ohioan. I have not yet been to GT, but it's on my "now that life has calmed down some" list. It's been bumped up to the top now that this great report has been filed. But FG, I wonder if you'd mind telling us if this was a comped dinner? I'm curious, not trying to start anything. Thank you!
  7. If you're only going for food, WD-50. I love Craft when we have time and lots of friends with us.
  8. Just returned from ten days there and whenI get my act together, will post more. Briefly .. YES to Da Kitchen, General Store. I'd add David Paul's to it as well, and the bar at the Four Seasons. Breakfast at Polli's one day, post-bike ride, was fun: "Come In Or We'll Both Starve." Words to live by. More words to live by, at Kihei Caffe: "Sleep. Grind. Beach."
  9. What a great Mom you are -- your kid's hero. It really bothers me to see kids in environments made for them, being treated dismissively or poorly by the staff, or other diners. And really,it's about being comfortable and eating together, isn't it.
  10. therese, what a great trip and wonderful report! Next time, how's about a slide show with accompanying tastings? (What? You have a life besides sharing your food stuff with us? Hmph. Well, a girl can dream.) Always love reading your stuff. The question remains: Can [this travel companion] pee in the ocean? (Can she, not "did she." Okay, that too.)
  11. Naw, Milagai. I think this type of discussion brings out the protectiveness (or defensiveness) in people. Making every event "about the kids" is my issue. Too often "families welcome" means "bring your toddlers and let 'em rip!" I don't even fly through Orlando -- and I'd never go to Chuck E. Cheese and expect to find peace. So I don't like it when my server is too busy fetching extra napkins, filling sippy cups and shoveling a steady stream of finger food onto the next table, to take care of our wine. edited 'cuz I'm a knucklehead who *calls herself a writer.* Hah!
  12. Okay, I don't get this attitude at all. It's not your wedding. To not understand the exclusion of kids is one thing. Telling someone who they have to have as a guest at their wedding (or party, or into their home), is wrong. But this thread is about children in restaurants. . Yes, Maggie, I think you're right! I will say that a few of my experiences with little darlings whose parents are too tired (or whatever) to keep it together have nearly pushed me over the edge, though.
  13. Nope, but it's child-centric which too many people believe means "kids rule," all the time, every place. There are places they don't belong, period. And there are times that having a staff cater to their every need as demanded by themselves and their parents, affects the other customers. I sure hope you weren't understanding anyone to be self-righteous: I don't think anyone is considering this type of response defensive. Of course life goes on. Of course there will be another chance to dine pleasantly, which is why poorly behaved diners of any age should be removed from pleasant company. They'll be allowed back in when they no longer demand that the world stop for them.
  14. No! But they should have comped you the drinks, at the very least.
  15. Mr. FB was in San Francisco last month. After a meeting he and his associate went into a Chinese restaurant, where they were the only non-Chinese diners. The tables were set with cutlery, and they asked for chopsticks. No one else in the place was eating with chopsticks. After the meal, a (much older) gentleman approached their table and told them, with a huge smile, that they eat more skillfully with chopsticks than he ever did!
  16. Exactly. It's obviously a business decision, and to my mind, a dumbing-down. And now I have to find a different place for our first night in Maui next week. No more Spago for the Babe family.
  17. The part I really don't get, is the assertion that restaurants need to make changes in the way they cook, and the ingredients they cook with ... blah blah blah. If you want food cooked a certain way, do it yourself. Crankily, Fabby
  18. First -- Varmint. Word! You and your daughter? That was me and my younger son. (Mr. FB and I were the behavior Nazis as well, and it's paid off handsomely. I can't count the number of times we've been complimented by staff and other guests for their behavior -- even a few comps here and there. Our sons handle themselves well and with confidence, which has come in handy for interviews and dates.) I don't see it as a function of marketing -- while I've seen numerous restaurants in resort/island areas advertise themselves as "no children under 12 at any time" and "no kids' menus, no high chairs, no strollers," I can't recall any US restaurant flat-out saying that. I don't think it's divisive at all -- some places are not made for kids. In my experience, in U.S. coastal towns during tourist season, restaurants seem more geared to dealing with families of all ages traveling together. The atmosphere lends itself to more noise and chaos, which is a good thing. When we first married (Ohio), it was considered very bad form to bring children into a restaurant who did not behave. Here, though, behavior that had people begging an acquaintance of mine to "just name the price -- we'll pay for your dinner if you get that horrible child out of here!" is tolerated, by staff and parents alike. so, maybe it's just me.
  19. When I was reviewing for a city magazine a few years ago, one of the paper's food critics came into the place where I was cooking to do a review. He had me (yes, ME) write down what was in everything, so he could be sure to get it right -- down to whether the olives were pitted and if it was Gorgonzola or Maytag in the salad. Of course I never paid attention to his columns again. As for the legion of online critics -- I'd be happy if they just got their facts straight. Working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns during their first six months was a real eye-opener. I'd take a look at the reviews pouring in and just shake my head. Most were so far off base it was ridiculous -- and not in their opinions, but their descriptions of the food. I saw things drooled over that weren't on the menu that night, and poetic waxing (is that a real term?) over preparations or ingredients that weren't used. So I don't listen to them, either. And if just ONE would not say something "disappointed." Who? What? Augh! Now, if Busboy would put out one of his guides, I'd listen to that. What-say?
  20. Coming in here a little bit late, Ms. D. That's some provocative title for your blog! Turning pro, are ya? Congratulations on all the good things happening in your life. I really admire you for putting yourself out there for all of us to see. (oh, geez. Fish heads, fish heads ...)
  21. I doubt any restaurant owner is going to say they don't welcome children with open arms. Can you imagine the uproar? In Cincinnati, way long ago, a couple of men opened a 'gourmet pizza' restaurant. It was very not-kid-friendly in both decor and menu choices (I can hear the chorus of "my child has a cultivated palate" as I write this). It was made even less kid-friendly when the owners, out of exasperation, instituted a per-seat minimum charge and refused to install high chairs. A group of Outraged Moms tried to get community support to boycott and picket the place. It was really kind of funny, when you think of it. Back to the topic, dear bavila, I have more kid-related restaurant horror stories than you can imagine, and I have a fairly high tolerance for little kids. Child toddling by himself around of the restaurant, falling next to our table, and screaming bloody murder. Mom yells at ME -- "how could you let this happen?." White-tablecloth restaurant. Child standing at the side of our table, watching us eat, staring and staring. We ask her parents to please have her sit with them. "What's wrong? She's not doing anything. She just likes to watch." (Chauncey Jr.?) Then there's the little one who sang some Barney song loudly and screamed if his parents didn't join in. Etc.
  22. Ahhh, writing for that type of editor would seem like a beautiful thing! My first edited almost nothing I wrote and I felt very special -- at first. When I read those first few clips, I wonder what in the world she was thinking of. As someone who hasn't seen her own byline for a while, I still have to agree with russ parsons. I love to write. Mr. FB loves to do executive searches. I'm sure FG still loves the law. Would you do any of that for free, on a regular basis? Why? For the most part, value is assigned by people to a product they have to pay for, or try to get access to. And honestly, has any blogger ever roused the response that Mr. Bruni does on a regular basis? (again, please correct me if I'm wrong!)
  23. My cat, John, likes to play with Wonder-bread balls. I don't think he pees on them but sometimes he puts them in his mouth. Maggie, does your squishy-crust disdain extend to those great big loaves (Texas Toast, maybe?) and Pepperidge Farm white? I can squish them up pretty well, too. I also can toast them and put them on a plate under barbecue or runny eggs.
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