Every chef has a priority.
Some highlight the look of their plate…
Some concentrate on the taste rather than the look …
Some are researchers, looking for designing new things…
Some are classic, uncompromising from the traditional.
No matter what the priority, the success of a chef depends on the balance established. The key to success is creating a balance between the taste and look of the dish.
But not everything is limited to the taste and look of a dish in a restaurant. Other criteria, such as service, decor, ambiance and clientele determine if you’re going to return to that particular establishment.
Quality of service is a matter that everyone cares about. But there is a nuance when it comes to service that is as important as the meticulousness of the waiter and the knowledge of the sommelier and that is the justice in the attention the chef or the owner gives his customers. Are chefs or owners successful in achieving a balance when it comes to their customers? Are they careful enough about this nuance? Can they show the same affection to all customers or is this so called attention geared towards some?
Bernardin is a highly decorated restaurant in New York. It offers seafood. I went there in the 90’s with my wife and son. It had an out of style decoration. You can interpret this as an homage to the retro style of the 60’s. Towards the end of the meal, a man and an elegant, thin woman began visiting tables and making small talk. I was told that they were famous people from the gastronomy world. I didn’t know. I still don’t. There were probably regulars at the tables they visited. They knew them so it was only normal that they talked to them. But what was wrong with the others? Since they didn’t know us, they didn’t extend the same courtesy; they didn’t come and even say hello, which is common in all restaurants across America.
Justice, as in all cases, should not be taken lightly !
I never went back to Bernadine. Was it because I didn’t like the food? Was it because I thought it was expensive? No. It’s because I couldn’t find a balanced attention. In short, I couldn’t find justice in that restaurant!