When I decided to start a blog, I knew that I would have to be more than a chroniclier of day to day restaurant life. All one has to do these days is turn on the food channel and see what is pur ported to be a voyeuristic view of how we in the “biz” go about our day. I hope that I am not shocking you by saying that what you are watching has as much connection to reality in a kitchen and the daily challanges of a chef as scenes from .. well I cannot make a comparison because I do not watch TV,,,,,, no time, no interest.
I also knew that I would have to be able to deal with and embrace the criticisims of my subject matter and of course my writing style.
Taking criticism is part of the job description of a chef, restaurant owner, and would be writer. Every one critiques my recipes and guests always speak their minds. If any business owner thinks that the imput of his employees and customers is not the fuel of success, then for sure that business is doomed. Having said that, I must tell you that it is painfull indeed after exteme effort to be told that I have come up short and know that it is true, or to see a completely true product and be told that is is not quite right. To stand in front of a guest and be apologetic if warranted or quiet, if necessary, is hard. I am not sure which situation is harder to take. In each case I go back to the source and see where I can either improve or stay the course .
Winston Churchill once said: ” Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
What happens in REPUBLIC and the MILLTOWNE GRILLE also happens in this blog. Guests, and I consider all who take the time to read my musings as guests, comment often and at times sharply as to my subject matter and also my punctuatiuon. That is what to be expected if one chooses to open up to an audience. The challenge is what to do with the imput that is given. Get angry? Feel slighted? Cancel all effort because I feel that may work is not good enough?
Every entrepreneur begins the journey with an idea. The idea morphs and takes shape though effort, focus, adaptation and the work of others that have bought into the idea and its rewards. Any one who retains a staff, is dependant on the market place and choses to compete, has to be able to take critisism and direction from others. All cooks need fedback and all writers require editors (some more than others). Therefore an environment must be created where feedback is comfortably given, but the idea is still proprietary.
The marketplace has rewarded Claudia and I with patronage and support. Guests have had no problem giving me compliments and criticism. I hope I am perceived as appreciative for the compliments and intent on their opinions.
You will soon have the ablity to comment on my use of ingredients not seen since last year. English peas that I am adding to my risotto with Heart Song Farm goat cheese. They are also in a mash with fresh mint and Lebanese olive oil. Ramps and fiddleheads will be in this week along with NH Raised Mussels and you will see them paired with tomato and fennel. Look for NH landed scallops, organic produce from Larry Pletcher, and pasture raised rabbits from Sticks and Stones Farm.
Please try my recipes and fell free to tell me what you think. If I have a pained look on my face, it is because I have been biting my toungue.
See you soon,
We thought you might like to join us for some special May events here at Republic Caf√©… where you can enjoy food, wine coffee and community!
Cheese & Wine – May 10: Complimentary Tastes!
First, we’ll be hosting the premier release of VER HAMPSHIRE TOMME by Sawyer’s Artisanal Cheese on Tuesday, May 10 from 5pm to 7pm. Join us along with Joseph and Sonia Sawyer, who will be here to describe the cheese-making process and offer tastes of their first tomme. RP Imports will provide wines that pair with the tomme, and we’ll be featuring Ver Hampsire Tomme on the Chef’s blackboard that evening.
Cupcake Bake-off – May 18: Vote for Your Favorites!
Try the Cupcake Trio. Our bakers: Ryan, Kate and Bill will bake up their best cupcakes. Let us know your favorite!