I'm not being dramatic when I say it is almost impossible to describe how I'm feeling right now. We, the entire management staff, are an emotional wreck, at least on the inside. There's the wringing of hands, the pacing of feet, an introspection which is nothing short of torturous. Demons arrive, cackle, cat-call, heckle, throw tomatoes and teeter on shoulders all day and night until The Moment arrives.
You can practically see the tension in the air. It's dense and heavy and there are a lot of furrowed brows. We are sticky with it. We've all given each other a wide berth to experience our individual emotions. But really, all this worry is silly because The Review has been written and we can only go about our day making lists diminish, cleaning up after our staff, prepping, changing menus, feeding party after party, service after service. All we can do is do the best we can every day and hope that tomorrow we can do it even better. Every day we hope to inspire our cooks to love what their doing as much as we do.
It's incredibly emotional to ride a roller coaster with people you appreciate, respect, and love. Compassion fills your heart, breaks it, and glues it back together. Frustration mounts as you delegate and watch your food handled by each and every person, and then eaten. We hold our breath and exhale loudly a thousand times a day.
Tomorrow We Will Know. And on Sunday You Will Know.
It's like being the teacher holding test scores and being the student, waiting, whose future depends on them, simultaneously.
The Review is
the first kiss after a long flirtation, or tease.
How I will sleep tonight is beyond me. It's a good thing I had a 15 hour day today.
I imagine tomorrow there will be tears and joy. A final exhalation of breath, at least until the next review.
It's hard to explain what the eve of getting The Review feels like. One part of my heart and mind are sitting in that room, where they've sat since day one, and another part of me is waving her hands through windows into that room saying, "Hey! Look at me-- no, don't think about that anymore-- come on, think about something else for a minute. Like that new dessert which finally became whole. Or this-- look at this! It's that problem you've been mulling over-- let's put some thought into solving it right now..." And so the banter goes. Then there's the resigned part of me. "It's done," it says. I am trying to expect the worst so I'll be happy with anything good.
The thing is this. A Restaurant is like a relationship in that The Relationship is something people make together but neither have unilateral control over it. There are so many humans' hearts and minds and spirits and hands and ideas and bodies involved in a restaurant. My food is barely mine once all those people take part in it. You could say that this makes my food bigger or more watered down, it's all about perspective. Depending on who comes to your table to describe my food, you would have a completely different experience, each time or compared to the table next to you.
And The Review is there to see Everything. Everyone naked, everyone exposed. It's thrilling and terrifying, adventurous and insane, dynamic and still, worrisome and wonderful.
It's your heart on a plate, being eaten.
And then it's not any of these things. Because how can a person sum it all up on one page? It's like turning a book into a movie.
But The Review matters. So much. It puts you on the map, gives you a permanent address, like it or not,
ready or not
here I come
10, 9, 8, 7,
you can run but you can't hide.
It makes me feel proud, to stand naked with all who are standing here with me. To have you, and they, see my weaknesses and strengths. All desserts not same, all plates unique-- there is no formula here. I cook and eat and inspire and create and am inspired and then I write and read and talk and cry and wail and
I take the time to water my own garden. And in the quiet the answers come.
And then it all begins again.
And on the day The Review arrives, sunup and sundown will go as planned by the universe and no matter it's words and number of stars, we will continue to check in produce orders and go to market to see what's in season and cooks will button jackets and turn on ovens and ice cream will be churned and cakes will be baked and
we will cook and bake the best food we know how.
And I'll be here, at eggbeater, to tell my heart's tale.
Thanks for reading, it means a lot to have You there.