“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.”
— Thomas Keller (The French Laundry Cookbook)
I love this quote and it’s something I like to show to cooks, staff, anyone who becomes part of our team. We’re in a service industry, and I truly believe that we’re only just line-cooks or waiters shlocking out food if we allow ourselves to fall under that mentality. It’s important to take pride in your work, and know that when you put your heart into your craft, people know.
When I’m in the kitchen working the line, I like to say “You gotta give it some love, they can taste it”, and although that might sound cheesy to some, I really believe it. What I also hope to communicate is that as important as the customer is, it’s just as important that we as servers, hosts, and cooks can taste and feel the love we put into our product, because when you’re able to achieve that, not only is the customer happy, but we’re happy.