FLASHBACK: Culinary no-no #45

On this Easter Sunday when many people will be dining out, a look back to a favorite of mine that is always timely.

Culinary no-no #45

Sunday, Mar 9 2008

In this week’s edition of Culinary no-no, more on the subject (respecting your waiter/waitress) from someone who has walked the walk and is now talking the talk.

Phoebe Damrosch has written a book about her experience waiting tables at Thomas Keller’s four-star New York City restaurant, Per Se.

The inside cover notes of Damrosch’s book, Service Included say, “After reading this book, diners will never sit down at a restaurant table the same way again.”

Damrosch includes numerous dining tips that fall under the no-no category. Here are a few:

  • Please don’t ask waiters what else they do. That implies they shouldn’t aspire to work in the restaurant industry even if it makes them happy and financially stable. It also implies they have lots of free time because they have such easy jobs and that they are not succeeding in another field.
  • Don’t send something back when you’ve eaten most of it.
  • Don’t make faces or gagging noises when you hear the specials. Someone else at the table might like to order one of them.
  • Don’t bribe the host. If there’s no table, there’s no table.
  • Don’t touch your waiter.
  • Don’t say this to the host or a waiter: “Do you know who I am?”
  • Don’t begin a sentence with, “Give me….”
  • Don’t get angry at your waiter if you don’t like something. Your waiter didn’t make it
  • Don’t steal the waiter’s pens. Usually, they have to provide their own.

I first learned about Damrosch after hearing her appearance on American Public Media’s “Splendid Table.” The program is heard on public radio stations around the country and on Sirius Satellite Radio.

From the “Splendid Table” website:

February 16: Service Included | Listen
This week it’s a peek into the life of a waiter at one of the world’s most demanding restaurants. It’s a profession and high craft, and not for the faint of heart. Our guest is Phoebe Damrosch, former waiter at Chef Thomas Keller’s acclaimed Per Se in New York City. Phoebe tells all in her book Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter.

*The Damrosch interview begins 14:22 into the program. Just click the play button and scroll to 14:22*


Is my food safe? Gluten found in 32% of food labeled gluten-free, new study says

Ohio man’s Lenten, beer-only fast comes to an end

And finally, quiz time. See if you can guess what this is? I’m betting you’ll be wrong.

Bloody Caesar

The website I found this on regularly has a vast variety of great ideas. I didn’t think this was one of them.

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