Thursday, July 29, 2010
So where have I been? Reading Atonement. Getting an Ipad. Reading the WSJ every morning on my ipad. Cooking dinners for clients. Last Thursday I did a wine gala for 200. I rented wine glasses, picked up Pellagrino, hired servers (my buddies), purchased serving trays and napkins, and made quarter-sized blinis with smoked salmon and creme fraiche to be passed around. And I got paid for it. Sure as hell beats working at an ice cream shop. I took a class on small business and entrepreneurship at Penn. I went to a seminar on the restaurant business hosted by the Philadelphia Business Journal. It featured Jen Carrol, Rob Wasserman (owner of Rouge), Michael Solomonov (chef/owner of Zahav) and Ellen Yin (part-owner of Fork and Fork etc.). Yea. It sucked. Other than the first 30 minutes of kind of a cocktail-hour type setting in which I was able to talk to Ellen Yin about Fork (I worked there for a period) and I met Rob Wasserman who invited me to stage at Rouge, it was awful and uninformative. It was poorly put together. A few general questions were asked by a moderator and the chefs talked about the industry as it is currently, and all I really got out of it was that these restaurants are in better shape than last year. No shit right?
But back to the Gala. Yea that was great. That was jolly fun. I got to exercise genuine authority over a bunch of friends, what could be better right? Haha. It was great, yet terribly nerve racking in the days and hours leading up to the event. I had never done anything like that and it was really good for me to get out of my comfort zone. Before, all I had ever really done for clients was cook. I focused on what I knew. With this event I almost had to act as an event planner. I bought a BJ's membership (Alice Waters is surely plotting to kill me in my sleep) so that I could buy Pellagrino in bulk for cheap. I went to Party Land and got napkins. I went to some restaurant supply store in the city and picked up serving trays with lots of traction so that the wine wouldn't spill when passed (yes the wine was to be passed, that freaked me out when i found out), and I picked up pizza trays at the same store on which to serve the blinis. And that's only the half of it.