Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tales from the kitchen

People never cease to amaze me, especially people who come to New Orleans. Right now, we're getting the tail-end of the family tourists and the first batch of before-school-starts tourists, so there's a pretty heady collection of classless waterheads wandering around unsupervised in the Quarter. They don't mean harm, I truly believe, but it seems like they've never been any place fancier than a Shoney's and the concept of "fine dining" blows their mind somewhat. That and they can be just plain rude, moreso than the most drunken Mardi Gras jackass or JazzFest ding-a-ling.

 Take tonight, for example. Keep in mind, now, my restaurant serves your typical New Orleans/Creole-American board of fare and does the whole "casual fine dining", which means you can get a pretty good meal but aren't require to wear long pants. There's a New Orleans-style double doors that leads out to the courtyard, but it's rarely used by anyone but staff. However,  About an hour-and-a-half before the end of the shift, right at the end of a fairly significant pop, some yayhoo walks right in through those doors and right into the kitchen and the following conversation occurs:

Guy: “Do you have foie gras?”

Me: “Do what?”

Guy: “Fois gras. Do you sell fois gras?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Guy: “Well, it’s French.”

Me: “Okay.” [Beat as the guy just stares at me] “We don’t have it.”

Guy: “Do you know any restaurant that would have it?”

Me: “Hell, I don’t know, you might try Court of Two Sisters or Palace Cafe.”

Guy: “They don’t. Who else?”

Me: “I really don’t know. Sorry.”

The guy then turns and walks out the door, leaving said door open, without another word. Now, anyone who knows anything about me knows that, first and foremost, I'm an easy-going guy and more than willing to help out anyone in any way I can. However, there are three things anyone considering similar action as this dingbat should consider before just blowing through the door.

Number one, I’m a cook, not a restaurant guide. The apron should be a giveaway.

Number two, this is New Orleans, not Paris and “Creole” is not synonymous with “French”, cuisine-wise. It's not even close and serious epicureans would laugh, laugh if it were suggested to be so in their presence.

Number three, dude, don’t just walk into my kitchen, especially if you're going to bark orders and cop an attitude. That’s a good way of getting something that’s either sharp or recently exposed to flame thrown at you.

 Damn tourists.