Monday, August 13, 2007

Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch

Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch

Damrosch is a captain at one of the few 4 star restaurants in New York. Four plus hour meals and 16 course dinners are not uncommon at the French restaurant Per Se. Damrosch takes readers behind the scenes of such a restaurant and tells stories that those not in the industry would never otherwise know.

It is truly amazing how many aspects of a meal there are to consider. How to serve, when to serve, what to serve, what to serve it with, what utensils need to be used, what temperature those utensils should be, which direction they should face, which wine goes with each course. It is incredible that anyone could ever remember even half of this!

Of course, the most interesting part is the social aspect. What do these people really think of those they are serving and what are their relationships like with their co-workers? While Damrosch doesn't drop many names, she still gives many interesting stories. Imagine spending $20,000 on a dinner! Who would even think of doing that?

Damrosch also writes about her relationship with a sommelier who works at the restaurant, and how living in New York and working all night can affect your relationship. You would think that after spending all day around food they would want to do something different, but instead they go to try out other restaurants (or even their own).

Quite an interesting book. There are a couple of points and tips in here that have stuck with me because I would have never expected them! It's like water cooler topics!



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