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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

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A Gorman treat: Meyer lemon mousse, pistachios, and berries. Kinda makes you wanna trust him.
A Gorman treat: Meyer lemon mousse, pistachios, and berries. Kinda makes you wanna trust him.

Chefs are in the customer service business

When it comes to dining, there is this belief that the customer knows best. Some people believe that when they go out to eat they should combine components from other dishes to create their own idea of what they want.

This is an issue that most chefs deal with day and night.

People have this belief that because they are paying for something, they are entitled to have whatever they want. I have yet to find a restaurant that advertises this service, other than Burger King's "have it your way." It is now the normal expectation of what true customer service is by giving the guest whatever they want.

Some people would say I'm wrong, that this is exactly what dining is all about. Throw in a recession on top and everyone is cow towing and marginalizing any culinary integrity to make a buck. Chefs understand they have to be business people, and that we are not artists but craftsman.

However, I would like to present a different perspective. I want every guest to be beyond happy when they leave. When you dine in a restaurant with a chef, you are there to buy the experience they are selling. Allow us the opportunity to share our creations.

What other form of entertainment do you get to decide how it ends? I can think of many movies that I wish I could have changed the ending. How about a concert that ended without hearing your favorite song?

Even when your sports team doesn't win, you don't get a yellow flag and a do over. Those mediums are no different; they sell a product that you consume just like dinner.

When a guest starts to recreate or invent things that aren't on the menu, we as chefs are forced to ultimately become glorified short order cooks. Some customers have even created temperatures of how they want their steak cook that don't even exist.

Really, what is medium rare plus? There are only five temperatures to cook a steak – rare, medium rare (the in-between temperature), medium, medium well (the other in-between temperature) and well.

There is a reason …

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