It’s an amuse-bouche, enjoy.

For those of you interested, I recently just started a new job at the Summit Restaurant at the Midwest Culinary Institute. Previously, I worked at Ichiban Japanese Restaurant, Japanese fusion and sushi – which were both pretty good; however, I couldn’t stand the owner – she’s a b***h, not to mention a horrible owner. The only reason I stayed there as long as I did was because of the manager, Dan, he was great and fantastic, very knowledgable and fun to work with, while bringing great success to the restaurant. He left for bigger and better things; I don’t blame him, the owner fought him tooth and nail.

Now that he’s gone, I doubt that Ichiban will stay up for longer. The owner continually pays staff under the table, screwed up my taxes and probably stole money from me. She DOESN’T pay her busers a fair wage and I’ve cited at least 5 or 6 reasons why she shouldn’t pass health inspection….

That, however, is a story for another day. I’d rather talk about my NEW job!

Now, I know that I typically write about arts and cultural related things, or about the clarinet – I just felt that this was another faucet of my life that helps me pursue those goals and dreams. Hey, I gotta pay my bills, right? This way, with another job, (and this is on top of 3 other jobs, mind you) I can keep doing what I want. Life of an artist, right?

For those of you who know me, you know I love my wines and fine dinning! The problem is, I just can’t afford it. BUT, working at a fine dinning restaurant is the NEXT best thing!

They have a full staff of trained culinary chefs and future chefs, the wait staff actually knows the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork! Or really, the big clencher for me is that the wait staff know the difference between…a California Chardonnay and a French Chardonnay!

I’m in my element here!

I’m looking forward to bringing you, in addition to the daily fodder of my arts and cultural life, an ever interesting display of food and wine that I encounter through my travels through this new restaurant – and no doubt there will be plenty.

Lets start, actually, with the amuse-bouche. The amuse-bouche is a French term that roughly translates to, “amuse the mouth.” The amuse, or the bouche as many of my colleagues refer to it as, is served just after the patrons have order their courses. The bouche is a small, appetizer-like offering from the chef. Typically, it is served on a wafer, small spoon, or the like. The bouche is supposed to be a small bite sized delight, packing the full punch of the chefs culinary ability. For the patron, it is a sort of teaser on what to expect from the chef throughout the course of the dinner.

The bouche has three specific criteria to be considered, well, an amuse-bouche: 1. it is small, usually to be taken in one bite (or two); 2. it is a gift from the chef, therefore free to the patrons; 3. and finally, everyone at the table is served the same thing.

Here’s a fantastic quote on the amuse-bouche and its purpose from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a famous culinary chef in New York

“The amuse-bouche is the best way for a great chef to express his big ideas in small bites.”

Enjoy!

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