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Issue #21 April 6, 1998
In This Issue
* Feature Article
The Past, Present, and Future of Culinary Arts
The Culinary Arts represent an evolving world. To categorize a period in this discipline is difficult. How will historians report this time that we see as our world? Perhaps an individual could analyze the trends over the last two hundred years and predict the future of Cuisine in the United States. Not possible, the influx of ethnic ideas and alternative techniques have changed the very essence of Culinary Art.
Ideas are as valuable as the Chef. If they do not represent insight and change, then they are dismissed. Classic art was not always that. Artists throughout history have attended schools to expand their minds and explore new ideas. Where do these new ideas develop? In the real world. The methodical study of history will only produce a reflection of old concepts. To experience culture and sample the fruits of true artists is the only school necessary to become a chef. This will allow a student to reproduce the products of masters.
However, reproducing is not what makes an innovative chef. A love for food is the key to becoming a chef. The idea is not the issue. Dismissing classical techniques and following trends is not a solution. A chef will always be a student. If an individual forgets the gift of education, then a dead end has been reached. Becoming a chef allows opportunities to travel and experience life like no other trade.
Anyone can adhere to the criteria required to be considered a chef by modern convention. The acid test of character is found in the individual that displays a respect for classical ideas, and is open minded to the new. Developing this unique character is accomplished by harnessing the ego and never forgetting that even the dish washer may have a better idea than you.
Feedback on our feature articles is welcome. Please send your comments to email@example.com
IndustyBooks.com - BeverageNet Bookstore
Seeing The Light
Setting up a bar
TRAINING and PERSONALITY - the KEYS TO SERVER SUCCESS
Brewing a New Leaf
Choosing the Best Fish
Tips for Storing and Preparing Fish
Exploring the Wine Joints of New York City
Interview with Maria Helm, Executive Chef at PlumpJack Cafe
Phillip Silverstone Speaks With Julia Child
James Beard Dateline - April 1998
So, You Wanna Open a Coffee Shop
Visit the Restaurant Report E-mail Newsletter Links Archive for a compilation of feature links from all past issues: http://www.restaurantreport.com/Newsletter/featurelinks.html
Each month through June we will be selecting five additional sites as Restaurant Report Top 100 Hospitality Sites Award winners. (Sorry for the delay in picking the March winners. April winners will be announced in the 4/20 newsletter.)
BeverageNet - Total Score: 93
Visit the main Top 100 page to see the full scoring and "Site Bytes"
for our new winners:
I can certainly understand your annoyance at being seated next to two inconsiderate smokers. As a smoker myself, I find it extremely unpleasant when someone else allows their smoke to drift in a direct path to my face.
However, many restaurants, smoking and non, are populated with extremely rude and unpleasant customers. I find crying babies, heavy perfume, and loud people quite distasteful and sure-fire meal destroyers. When seated next to an unpleasant table, I just ask to be moved. If a restaurant has icky patrons often, I exercise my freedom of choice and don't go there.
While I would love to frequent a restaurant that does not allow children or perfume, and think that a restaurant owner should have every right to choose the regulations of his own establishment, I would not support legislation prohibiting cologne. We are a free society, and determine the success or failure of a business by choosing how we spend money. If a restaurant chooses to be scent-free, and enough people feel strongly about a perfumeless environment, that business will prosper. If not, the business will fail. That capitalism & free enterprise.
Yes, you'll argue, but perfume doesn't kill and smoking does. Well, so does alcohol- especially combined with driving, which people usually do in order to get to & from a restaurant. Should alcohol be banned? And I am extremely allergic to perfume, so there are health effects.
I have recently moved to California, and am not too happy with the ban on smoking in bars, although most of the places I frequent have graciously built an enclosed "patio" area for smoking, which allows me to continue to enjoy beverages and conversation without leaving the premises. (actually, they are much more pleasant than a smokey bar, in that they are usually well-ventilated. Smokers don't like the dense clouds of smelly smoke in a small room with bad ventilation any more than non-smokers do.)
I do resent not being allowed to light a cigarette after a meal, however. No, let me change that statement- I resent the government dictating that I cannot light a cigarette after a meal. Well before the ban on smoking, many restaurants chose to be smoke-free. I applauded their choice, and unless they were exceptional places, usually took my business elsewhere. Now, the restaurants that chose to cater to smokers no longer can. That is a little too "Big Brother" for comfort.
While you may welcome government infringement into smoking regulations, I'd like to know the name of your restaurant, so I can make certain to "choose" never to go there!
Smokers want to smoke and non smokers don't want them to smoke. There is no solution unless a dictatorial group decides for others. Everyone knows the evils of smoking but the problem no one mentioned is addiction and the severity of the addiction---if smoking were declared a dangerous drug and one of addiction more progress Would be made than shouting at one another---push for legislation as an addictive drug. No one mentioned the technology of exhaust methodology--restaurants and casinos have not kept pace with public opinion--it should be possible to have smokers and non smokers in the same room and no odors exists if appropriate technology were instituted.
Dr. Frederick P. Zuspan (non-smoker)
While I realize this response may be a little late, I would still like to put in my two cents, if possible. While I was reading all of the responses to your article, I was becoming more and more upset by the one sided opinions so strongly biased against smokers...until I read what Paul had to say. I believe it is very important to look at things from all points of view, in any situation. In this situation, the smokers should be acknowledged as having a right as well. As Paul mentioned, for whatever reason, people do start smoking and it is a very hard habit to break, but it is a form of relaxation for many, so ponder this ....Why do people go out to eat? Mostly it is to relax. I do not believe that people who smoke should be deprived of their rights of relaxation. The idea of a smoker being able to relax in a restaurant, enjoy a nice meal, and light up is something that should not be taken away. I think it is and has been very possible to maintain smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants without conflict. Why does this have to change? If you have not been able to tell, I am not even a smoker myself, and in fact I even hate the smell of smoke and what it does to people. It is terrible. However, it is a personal choice for those who smoke, and the right of smokers to light up when they please should be acknowledged, as long as it doesn't affect the non-smokers, and as I have mentioned....it has been done.
My name is Allan Chapman and I am a smoker And what you wrote makes a lot of sense to me . I also am a chef and see on regular occasions smokers and non-smokers clashing in my dining room.
I do smoke but I also respect non-smokers I do not smoke in public places unless I am with other smokers and there are no non-smokers around I do not smoke around my children because they deserve to have a chance for healthy lungs. I am hurting myself with these cigarettes I don't want to be responsible for hurting anyone else especially my children.
It would be a God send if smoking were band completely maybe it would make it easier for me to quit.
I am not proud of smoking I just haven't found the courage to be able to quit.
I am a Respiratory Therapist who is adamant about NO SMOKING.
I just wanted to tell you a story about my sister who is a smoker. She complained to me about her mother-in-law who lives next door to her and is not allowed to smoke in her home, per her husband. So she comes over to my sisters house and smokes at my sisters. Her complaint is that she comes over to her house and sits down at there dinning room table and smokes a cigarette while they are eating dinner and how rude that is. I told her that's exactly how I feel when we go out to a restaurant and sit in the smoking section, to accommodate her after dinner smoke, and the person at the next table lights up.
I also really dislike the littering of cigarette buts on the ground and thrown out of car window. It also makes me crazy when a person smokes in a car and thinks that because they crack there window no one is getting any of their smoke.
I enjoyed your story.
In further response to your article regarding smokers in restaurants:
The majority of smokers also demonstrate a lack of respect for society in other ways. Not only is second-hand smoke a killer, viewing the world as an ashtray is equally boorish. While generalizations always have their exceptions, rarely do I see a smoker outside actually walk the three extra steps that would be required to extinguish and deposit a finished cigarette in a trash receptacle. (Any smokers reading this who have NOT flicked cigarettes onto the ground, out a car window, or onto a sidewalk, I applaud you.)
Each morning and evening I walk five city blocks in Chicago between the train and my office. During that short five block walk, I see several smokers discarding their lit cigarettes with a flick onto the sidewalk -- seemingly oblivious to litter laws and acting as though it is their god-given right to uglify the streets and sidewalks upon which the rest of society travels. On occasion, a flicked cigarette has even skipped across my shoes -- showing further inconsideration for others.
The same thing has happened to our beaches and wilderness areas -- cigarettes and other trash have invaded the most prominent and the most isolated reaches of our landscape (of course, much of this is the fault of smokers and non-smokers alike). Although banning smoking in public places entirely may seem a bit extreme to some, perhaps litter laws should be enforced more stringently with steep fines for litter of any kind -- including cigarette butts.
As for inconsiderate behavior in restaurants, smoke has become so irritating to me that unfortunately my wife and I have become dissuaded from going many places we once enjoyed. We no longer enjoy live music because of the smoke, going to the local pub to shoot pool is out of the question, and many clubs we once danced at are too smoke-filled to enjoy. And, many an otherwise enjoyable meal has been ruined by an inconsiderate smoker.
Furthermore, why is it that smokers cannot wait until they are out in the open air to light their cigarettes? In many places clearly marked "non-smoking," smokers proliferate. For instance, while exiting the train into a crowded train station, many smokers are inconsiderate enough to light up even though those around them have no escape. The same is true in the underground pedway in Chicago. On many a miserable day in Chicago, the pedway could offer a welcome respite from the cruel wind, precipitation, or temperatures. Instead, smokers have become so common that the air has become unpalatable, and sometimes nauseating to the point that it dissuades many from taking advantage of the shelter that the pedway offers.
While smokers may feel put-upon by the majority because they are relegated more and more to the nooks and crannies of society, the spill-over costs to society in terms of second-hand smoke, the social and fiscal costs of treating smoking-related diseases, and the litter we all now endure greatly outweigh any right smokers might claim to enjoy their habit.
I applaud your feature article. It's time for smokers to realize that non-smokers have rights too. They ruin our dinners too......yet they can always have their "smoke" when they leave the restaurant. Enjoy filling up their cars with all that wonderful smoke and let them have the fun all to themselves.
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Would you know of any topic/problem, which could be made as a subject for my thesis? Thesis is the last requirement to complete a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and I can't seem to think of anything interesting or worth researching about. Do you have any suggestions?
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I'm a restaurant manager and I'm currently conducting some research on "typical" salary ranges for kitchen-manager positions at restaurants on par with, say, Ruby Tuesday's, Bennigan's, or TGI Friday's. I saw a recent article on-line that said an increased demand for kitchen managers at such restaurants has caused their salaries to jump -- with the current range being anywhere from $40,000 to $45,000 annually. Does that ring true (on the East coast)??? I'd appreciate any insights!! Thanks.
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