(Note: The Vegetarian Expose scheduled for this week has been pre-empted for this important message)
I was talking to a friend of mine a few months ago about the local food scene (ok, this could apply to almost any conversation on any day with any one of my friends, but I am specifically speaking of this CERTAIN time), and what would make it a better place for us Chefs-types. Maybe it was the booze talking (yes, after-work cocktails and reflecting on the industry you are a part of is a fact everyday life for people in our field), but there were some silly ideas thrown out there. “Let’s f**king ban food writers until they learn how to play nice”(I have expanded on that idea in the past), “why don’t we sue the entire population of DSM and have them COURT ORDERED to have to come in to our restaurants”, “Give the servers a brain”, “Food Industry Bailout!” (I mean, what should be more important to America – Cooks or Crooks?), and many more. All great ideas, but a little outside of our abilities and normal sensibility. My friend then had a brilliant flash of brilliance- all the chefs of DSM should GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER. We should stop the back stabbing, quit the trash talking, share ideas with each other, feed and FEED OFF of each other to further one another’s understanding of our craft. The braisers and the barbecuers holding hands in a field of daisies with the vegetarians and the raw foodists who are talking to the Italianites and Francophiles working to form a kinship that absolutley pushes everyone forward ten fold. How does one do such a thing?
By simply GETTING ALONG. Bury those hatchets, forgive the wrong doers, open up to those who you have written off and ignored, put aside your egos or paranoia, or whatever else is keeping you from sharing a glass of wine and some good conversation with your peers. Hell, even if you don’t consider them your peers try this out. Impart some knowlege or relate some stories. Share some ideas or just some laughs. We should all be constantly striving to learn, striving to teach, and pushing our culinary community forward. WE HAVE A FINE CITY AND GOOD FOOD, BOTH OF WHICH COULD BE EVEN BETTER IF WE WOULD JUST LEARN TO FOSTER INTER-KITCHEN COMARADERIE.
There are chef based activist movements, groups of chefs holding dinner parties for one another, some cities even have late night spots where chefs and cooks gather for some grub after their long days. Just going in to have a bite to eat at a neighboring restaurant and speaking with the chef is a good start. Maybe when you find out that a chef or restauratuer is in your dining room, stop out and have a chat. I propose a breakfast club or some such venture.
Some of you may be thinking this whole idea is B.S., but it isn’t. This is how things should be from here on out. I am interested in hearing some feedback. What do you think we can do to turn this around?
We love DSM, and We love our food. Can’t We all just get along?
It’s all true, you just read it on the internet, and the internet doesn’t lie.
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