Every so often, we go to a wonderful little bistro run by a dear friend and one of our favorite chefs.
This man is beyond amazing on so many levels.
( I know I've talked about him before---telling you about the wonderful private dinners he has done for us each year. And, perhaps I shared with you the tragedy of his young son's death and how devastated we all were by this sudden and unbelievable turn of events.)
This man traveled the world...opening some of the finest restaurants from coast-to-coast in the US, Europe, South America to the Caribbean and receiving accolades and awards everywhere he went. He has a magic touch when it comes to food and a smile and kindness that brings everyone in. Regardless of how hailed he was as a chef and how many offers of grandeur came his way, once he decided to settle down and have a family, he wanted to come home. And, so he did. He wanted to be surrounded by his big Italian family and raise his children amongst the many nieces and nephews he loved and to give his children the same feeling of comfort that he enjoyed growing up......
So, he returned to his home and opened an inconspicuous little place (with about four counter stools and about 3 tables) in our area and set out to introduce us all to truly fine dining in a humble little place in the basement of an office building. He was a one-man shop--he did all the shopping, all the cooking, all the serving, all the clean-up...he did it all. At first, things were slow. But, as the word spread about this hidden little gem and this talented, personable chef, his tiny little place was standing-room only....giving him reason to find another place to do business.
While many people expected him to go much bigger, hire lots of staff and take himself out of the kitchen a little bit more, this was not his style. So, he found himself an unassuming little place in a nondescrip strip mall with a bigger counter and several more tables, he hired a few wait staff and then set out doing what he did best.....cook and serve people.
A few weekends ago, Carmen and I were in the mood for a lunch time visit to see our favorite chef and to have some of his amazing food. He had just unveiled his Fall menu and we were anxious to try it out. On a whim, I decided to check online for some reviews of the menu before we went so that I could have fun anticipating what I might order. To my shock, the reviews were not good. When I delved further into the reviews, I found that almost everyone raved about the food itself. What they didn't like were that the prices seemed a little high for the portion size!
Okay. I get it. If people spend money on food--they want big portions.
That's what people want. They want lots of food for their money.
YES, people will sacrifice top-notch food made from the freshest of ingredients by an amazing chef for sub-par food in a mass quantity for the same price.......
How about--get better food but less of it?
Hey, I know I have been guilty of that.
My husband is super guilty of that.
My Lapband has taught me that quality over quantity is what matters.....
A meal doesn't have to be so enormous that it's falling off the plate to be considered good!
When it comes to food, instead of GO BIG OR GO HOME.....maybe it should be
GO GOURMET OR GO HOME.....
Now, if I can just employ this rule when it comes to cooking in my own house, we'll be good.