Friday, July 6, 2007

Getting Hired

DT (let's use initials to protect the innocent): "Tell me what is in a Bloody Mary."

Me: "I don't know...I don't drink alcohol."

DT: "OK...let's move on to food. What is in Béarnaise Sauce?"

Me: "I think it's an egg based sauce. Other than that I don't know."

Followed by one of those long, awkward pauses that you never want in an interview

Me: "Let me save us both some time, DT. I'm not going to be able to answer any of those questions."

DT: "Then why I am interviewing you?" (Good question, you say!)

Me: "Because DT, I know how to take care of a to do what is in their best interest every time. You could interview someone who knows every ingredient to every cocktail, sauce and dish, but if they don't put the customer first every time it doesn't matter. You can't teach that. I don't know ingredients...but I can learn those. I know how to treat a customer."

This is how my interview with one of the finest restaurants in the United States started. "Did they hire you" you ask? Amazingly YES! I start on Monday. This blog is going to chronicle the journey that I will go through as I start an adventure as a server at the PR of the B Hotel [I found out today that I could lose my job if posting the "B" name in a blog - privacy and reputation restrictions]. If you don't know anything about the PR, here is the description from Mobil Travel Guide - The Gold Standard of Travel Ratings and Reviews:

  • Just outside CS lies the world-famous, BH, a Mobil Five-Star award winner every year the award has been given. Sitting atop B South is the sophisticated and recently renovated PR. Diners can enjoy live music and dancing Monday through Saturday nights. If dancing is not their speed, they can simply indulge in the magnificent views of CS and C Mountain or drink one of the selections from the Hotel’s 3000 bottle-plus wine collection. Under the creative direction of world-acclaimed Chef B B, patrons can enjoy sophisticated, contemporary, continental cuisine, featuring the influences of Italy, Spain, Africa and France. The menu changes often and offers prix fixe meals of three, four and seven courses. Favorite appetizers include Pistachio-laden Warm Goat Cheese Salad, Five Herbs Ravioli and Chilled Peekytoe Crab with Cherry Relish Salad. Entrée favorites feature choices of Roasted Loin of Colorado Lamb with Purple Mustard, Roasted Breast of Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Slowly Cooked Halibut in Black Olive Oil.

Here is another article that gives you a good idea of what to expect from the PR, published in the Gazette, CS only newspaper:

  • The cappuccino machine is broken.
    It's 5:14 p.m. on the first busy night in The B's newly reopened PR restaurant, the doors are about to open, and the machine doesn't have a whiff of steam.
    "So make sure if your guests order coffee at the end of the meal," the maitre d' tells the tuxedo-clad staff, "they know we will not have cappuccino this evening."
    Minutes later, just as the servers finish spot-checking the glasses, the first guest arrives with his date and promptly orders a double cappuccino.
    "What should we do? He didn't even give me a chance to tell him," a young server named CD whispers in the foyer by the kitchen. This is his first job as a waiter.
    I guess we'll just get it for him," says the maitre d', DT.
    After years as captain of this formal dining room in the penthouse of the hotel's south tower, a demand for coffee when there is none doesn't ruffle a whisker in his perfectly trimmed mustache.
    He pulls aside one of his most trusted servers, RM, explains the situation, and without a word, M pushes through the foyer door into the clamor of the kitchen, rides the freight elevator nine stories down and walks to The B's golf club. He whips up an espresso behind the club's bar, foams the milk, sets the cup on a saucer, shoots back up the elevator, pauses to wipe a dab of foam from the saucer and take a breath, then calmly sets the hot coffee in front of the guest without giving the smallest hint of its journey.

I will chronicle everything that I learn, every screw up, and exciting event. This should be an interesting ride!

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