I worked in kitchens a few times throughout my career. Working in a fast food burger joint at age 16 taught me that people are assholes and expect first class dining on a shoestring budget. I have nothing but the utmost respect for McDonald’s employees when I see them working hard. For a brief time when I worked at the movie theater, I worked in the kitchen (which was similar to a pub) and learned what a real dinner rush was. People had limited time to enjoy their meals before a showtime, & other staff members also had limited break times.
My best experience working in a restaurant was Chuck E. Cheese’s. I loved the kitchen- I mastered every aspect of it. Ordering produce, preparing dough, rotating stock, and getting creative in my own personal pizzas. The staff began to beg me to make pizzas all the time because I made every bite count. I diced vegetables and spread them evenly. Or I marinated the chicken with Italian dressing for a bit before using it. I’ve always loved cooking.
Last night we had some people over for a little BBQ to celebrate my wife and I being married for 15 years. I made deep fried pita bread for the spinach dip my wife made. My wife had marinated the pork kebabs that I grilled up. I made my “fancy sandwiches” and my wife set up cupcakes with edible butterflies on them. Part of being married for so long is that we can complement each other’s styles of foods thus creating a caring and fantastic feast for our friends. That’s not something you can learn in a restaurant. Sure, you can learn what foods pair well with which wines, but putting love and care into your food is something you feel.
Sometimes at dinner we ask the kids to list off the ingredients they can taste in the meal. More often than not, one of them will answer “Love” is an ingredient. After last night’s dinner for our friends, I believe it to be true now. My wife and I put “Love” into what we cook on a regular basis.
To quote a song from The Kids in the Hall:
I guess you want to know what’s in this pie.
Well… there’s two cups love, a cup and a half of understanding,
A tablespoon of good old-fashioned compassion,
Sugar to taste,
And you know what? The ovens are our hearts