February 20, 2012
My How Things Have Changed!
Today people want to create their own menus. They want to do it away from home. If the menu says it comes with cole slaw, they want potato salad. If the fish is fried, they want it grilled. They just don't want to ask the cook to change the menu. They expect! I blame all those cooking shows on TV these days. No one questioned Julia Child. Now every channel has a cooking show. No one is really cooking at home. Everyone is too busy. Instead, they go to restaurants and tell chefs how to cook. I feel for the "chefs" of today. (We use to call them cooks). They go to fancy culinary schools, get deep in debt with school loans, and then have to prepare dishes for people who don't trust they know what ingredients mix best with other ingredients, how best to prepare a dish. Why even bother go to culinary school especially when chain resturants are coming out with standard menus that look like this:
This way you can go to a restaurant, say Cheesecake Factory or Applebees, in Atlanta, Georgia or Anchorage, Alaska and you will find the same items on the menu. This might take the guess work out of ordering, no surprise what will come on your plate, but it also removes the creativity of the restaurant or chef. But the pictures are pretty!
Finally, I have to laugh when I hear the term "mixologist". Bar keep is the real word. They keep the people at the bar happy by serving drinks like those pictured above which my friend and I had on my birthday. The one on the left is an old fashioned and the right a mojito. It doesn't take a mixologist to know how to make either of these, you could do it at home. One of the best bartenders I ever worked with was named Buster. He had gray hair, a sweet smile, wore a white dress shirt, a black bow tie, and could make a wicked whiskey and coke. And he was nice. That's all that really matters. I'd rather have that any day than a drink served by a snooty guy with a tight black shirt (aren't bartenders always in black these days) who calls himself a mixologist. But then, I'm as old fashioned as the drink.