Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You can't judge a book.....

A recurring theme this week seems to be that wise old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover". Sometimes, I approach a table at my waitressing job, I hear a certain accent and I cringe, that nasty little voice in my head muttering things about food ignorance, bad tippers, BUT I ignore it, remember that everyone has their story, and try to learn what I can from this encounter.
In the food service industry, I am constantly amazed by the interesting people who work in restaurants. Lots of people work restaurants because they offer decent cash and fairly short hours. Off the top of my head, I can think of a school principal, a teacher, a film maker, a photographer, a former monk, an accountant, all working in one restaurant.
Then, today I was listening to talk radio and they were interviewing Washington farmers, and this one farmer was telling a familiar story about how farmer's sons left the farm, got college educations, then ended up coming back to work the farm. So out in the rural countryside, you have these scruffy looking guys driving dirty pick-up trucks, managing dusty fields with law degrees, or economic degrees, or anything else under the sun. Just another reason to get to know your friendly market farmer!
Then there is the uglier side of this, the "lipstick on a pig" side. Dylan occasionally works catering for a big fancy catering company. They have a beautiful web site, lots of bling, a fat marketing campaign. They were serving a party "Kobe beef sliders", but these were actually pre-formed, industrial beef from a large foodservice warehouse. YUCK! This campany promotes themselves as organic and local and all the buzz, but time and time again, they just buy inferior product from mass distributors. WHY? Because it's cheap and easy. When you're busy with lots of marketing and drumming up business to support your bling, not much money or time leftover for the food. SO The company with the snazziest website is not necessarily the company with the best food.

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