My job changed dramatically in 2001, when I traded in being a working chef for being a restaurateur. It went from just running a kitchen to running what we call the front of the house and the back of the house both, plus ordering, scheduling, accounts payable and receivable, HR, facilities management and customer service. As we’ve grown over the past 19 years, my job has continued to change, and I’m grateful to work with the people I work with: our dining room manager, our chef de cuisine and sous chefs, our catering director and catering production manager, our wine director and wine shop manager all do excellent work, and I find it hard to believe that all the little tasks I used to do have grown into enough to keep each of these people occupied all week each week.
But this month my job has changed again, rather dramatically, as I’m sure it has for many or most or all of you, and I have to say: I’d rather be cooking. The reason these emails are coming later and later each day is that my days are filled with phone calls and emails and coordinating with behemoth organizations, and I’m impossibly grateful that we’ve been able to adapt to the shutdown by pivoting and pivoting again, but our latest strategy is this: since delivery and pickup won’t sustain the restaurant and its whole staff through the pandemic, we’ve changed our model and we’re doing what we can in our best Blanche Dubois drawl: “I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers.”
We’re giving ourselves work by taking your donations (and donating a portion ourselves) to healthcare workers during this stressful time. We figure that if you can help us by helping front line hospital workers, you can feel twice as good about donating. And in putting all of this together, I must say that I’m suddenly finding myself in deep water, coordinating dropoffs at multiple hospitals and clinics, each with different rules and procedures, and trying to follow them all, track everyone down, and make arrangements while I simultaneously oversee finished food deliveries going out and raw ingredient deliveries coming in. Honestly, I don’t know how those of you who do this every day manage to do this every day. My hat is off to you.
Today’s missive is, apart from my usual spouting off about whatever is barreling through my brain today, mostly just to let you know that we’re still taking donations- the next delivery run will go to two Neuro units at Banner UMC that are currently acting as respiratory units, to Molecular Microbiology, also at Banner UMC, and to the Emergency Department at Banner South Campus.
It’s also to let you know that we’re still functioning as a takeout and delivery restaurant as we have been. You can call in your order at 326-9363, and the menu is here.
And we’re still a wine shop and doing wine tastings, as well as supporting our wine-tasting (and winemaking) friends. So there are bottles to be had here for this event.
And samples to be had for this one.
That’s it for now, but don’t fret- you’ll get another thirty emails from me before you know it.