So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: June 8, 2009

Correction of “Update from my last “New Link Posted” – a cautionary tale” post

I confused the Admin of http://frothygirlz.com/category/in-the-weeds/, Shannon, with C*****, the creator of the  “Girl In The Weeds” blog. I think that I thought that C***** was giving up a pseudonym and giving her real name.

My sincere apologies and I’ve corrected it.

Just a reminder, C***** (from now on known only as CJ) will be updating her post tomorrow and it should be quite a post indeed. Make sure that you check it out at…schreeeeeeech…:cue sound of squealing brakes:

OK,  I’ve taken out the original link because of potential issues with her current situation. As soon as I get a proper link from frothygirlz that eliminates any reference to her real name…hint, hint Shannon, you need to do some erasure on the original blog pronto!…I’ll be adding the updated “Girl in the Weeds” link to the blogroll…until then, please have patience…

The Donald on – “The Waiter Rule”

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From “Trump University”, Donald Trump talks about “The Waiter Rule” – “Occasionally in the business world, I’ve heard people refer to something called “The Waiter Rule.” Simply put, how you treat a waiter or a waitress reveals a lot about your character. It may sound insignificant, but over the years I’ve certainly found it to be true”.

Trump goes on to advise people to “think twice the next time you sit down at a table and get ready to order. And don’t forget to leave a big tip”.

Kudos to Donald Trump!

Oh, one thing, waiters. To get the “big tip”, you’ve got to give the “big service”. Never forget that. We aren’t charity cases, you know.

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Foodie Link of the day – Rouxbe

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http://www.rouxbe.com/

One of the best instructional/cooking school/recipe sites on the planet.

Lots of instructional step by step videos on everything from proper knife skills to making the perfect demiglace. Especially useful for even advanced cooks is the “drill-down” section. Here you’ll find everything from basic to advanced concepts of cooking. You can learn about the “water test” for testing the heat of a pan, removing tendons from chicken, how to make a balsamic reduction, deglazing a pan, and many more tasks and skill sets.

When you sign up, they give you 30 days of free access to everything on the site. After the 30 days, you can join for a yearly membership fee. If you don’t join, you’ll still have access to much of their content, but you lose most of the videos. The videos are clearly organized and easy to follow, even when the dishes and techniques are complicated.

This should be in everyone’s Favorites folder. Hands down.

Wine topic of the day – German wine regions – The Mosel pt. 1

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From http://www.winepage.de/

Wine has been cultivated in Germany since the Romans left outposts of their advancing armies and created settlements in the Mosel River, Rhine River and Eifel Mountains region. As the vineyards of Germany are about the most northerly of the world’s vineyards, the varieties of grapes that can be commercially grown for wine are limited. This is also the reason why all of the regions are based on rivers, which act as moderating influences, adding humidity, reflected heat and helping to create a variety of micro-climates. There are 13 official wine regions (Anbaugebeit) of which 6 are consider primary, Nahe, Rheingau, Pfalz (formerly known as Rheinpflalz),  Mittlerhein (Middle Rhein), Rheinhessen and Mosel. The other 7 are considered “minor regions” (with the possible exception of Baden, which is, by volume, the third largest wine producing region in Germany), unless of course you’re a fan of those wines or you actually live there. The thing is, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will rarely, if ever, see any product from those regions. 

The Anbaugebeit is then divided into different Bereich, or districts. 

The next official division down from Bereich is Grosslage, which is roughly similar to  the French appellation (although Bereich could also be called similar as well, with Grosslage being an even smaller sub-region such as a town name)  , followed by Einzellage (single vineyard) of which there are approximately 500, less than a fifth of which are of any real significance.

While there are a few examples of red wine, the predominate grape grown in Germany is white. 

During this month, we are going to concentrate on each wine-growing region (Anbaugebiete) in Germany, starting with the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, named for the three rivers that provide the slopes and banks for growing.

The Mosel, known by the French as the Moselle is a river that runs north from the Vosges Mountains in southeastern France, forming the border between Germany and Luxembourg and finally emptying into the Rhine River at Koblenz.

The Anbaugebiete Mosel is informally divided into thirds, the Upper, Middle and Lower Mosel, athough there are five official Bereich of which  the Bereich Bernkastel is the best known outside of Germany and of generally higher quality than the other areas . If you’re looking at a map, down is up – remember, the Mosel actually flows north to the Rhine. So, the Lower Mosel is actually at the northernmost part of the Mosel. while theUpper Mosel is at the southernmost German part of the river and also comprises the smaller Saar and Ruwer tributaries. Obviously, the Mittlemosel lies between these two regions, centered between roughly Trier and Zell, with Bernkastel about midway. This is where the Mosel is at its twistiest and carves its most picturesque landscape through the Eifel and Hunsrück Mountains.  This is also where its wines are the most magical. Due to the very steep, grey slate strewn slopes, the sun is captured at its most optimal and the best producers have set up shop there, growing on every patch of sun-soaked slope that it’s possible to get a row of vines planted (many of these slopes have a 26% grade).  This is a map of the section of the river where the greatest vineyards lie and the finest wines are produced:

mapgermanymosel2Map courtesy of www.thewinedoctor.com  

Here you’ll find such famous vineyard names as Doctor, Sonnenuhr, Himmelreich and Würzgarten. But don’t be fooled – a vineyard designation doesn’t necessarily mean that all grapes from that vineyard have the exact same characteristics or quality, as micro-climate is extremely important in German viticulture.

While other varieties such as Müller-Thurgau and Grauburgunder are grown in the region, it’s Riesling that’s king of the mountain.

In the next installment, we’ll talk about the characteristics of Riesling. Since Riesling is the predominate grape in all of the major regions in Germany, we’ll discuss it globally, i.e. we’ll address the main characteristics and then discuss the differening characteristics of Riesling in the varied regions, so we don’t have to repeat ourselves as we survey the various regions.

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Interesting takes on the verbal tip from Waiternotes

From our friend at http://waiternotes.wordpress.com/, a pair of missives on verbal tips and how they are possibly becoming a new way to avoid the responsibility of a proper tip during economic hard times. It’s not a new phenomenon as servers have become wearily used to guests using phrases like “Thank you for your great/excellent/perfect service” as a substitute for part or most of the tip. I’m sorry, but if you enthuse to your waiter that you just got great service, a 15% tip isn’t appropriate – that’s the appropriate tip for just average, do just what is necessary to get your food – hell, at least bump it up to 17% if you want to do the bare minimum to back up your words. It’s an outrage for this phrase to accompany anything less than 15%, especially if it’s on the pre-tax total. His point is that he’s seeing it used by people that you wouldn’t expect it to be coming from and he posits that it’s becoming a coded apology that times are tight and “I’m can’t tip as much as I used to” as much as it was always a way to assuage guilt by guests who knew that they weren’t going to be tipping very well. He presents his theory pretty well between the two posts.

His most recent posts as of today (6.8.09) are on the subject (there are two so far). I hope some guests read this, but I suspect that the ones that read his sort of blog aren’t the type of people to display this rather sad-sack behavior.

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Cookbook of the day – Hot Licks

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Hot Licks – Great Recipes for Making and Cooking With Hot Sauces

by – Jennifer Trainer Thompson

Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st Printing edition (May 1, 1994)

ISBN-10: 0811805751

ISBN-13: 978-0811805759

If you love fiery foods, this is a good book to have.  From pisques and sherries (infused vinegars and rums and other alcoholic spirits used as table condiments in the Caribbean) to a few well-chosen cocktails, this volume is quite useful for the many varieties of hot sauces and condiments that you can make. There are recipes for various dishes included and the book is peppered (sorry, couldn’t resist) with facts about hot peppers that you will find useful. You’ll find a limited list of commercial hot sauces with reviews (since the book was originally written, there’s been a literal explosion of hot sauces on the market). The book is Caribbean and Southwestern-centric with nary a word on Asian and and sub-continent cuisines and this is a large gaping hole. She’s no Dave DeWitt or Mark Miller, but this is a cool little book.

It’s not the ultimate information source on peppers and hot things, but this colorful little volume will help you expand your “hot culinary vocabulary”.  It would also make a nice gift for a pepper freak as it’s fairly cheap, striking from a graphic design and fairly small. It’s a good Secret Santa gift. this book might be out of print but at the time of this posting, Amazon has at least 10 vendors with new copies under $14, including an inscribed by the author copy from the author herself (the $14 entry).

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This design can be had in metal from:

http://www.allfiredupgallery.com/store/agora.cgi?product=MetalArt-Caribbean-Page1

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