Hello readers; allow me to set the stage for today’s post. I recently read an article about a difficult customer that decided to slander Voltaire restaurant and the incredible response provided by the establishment’s owner. It has come to my attention the restaurant is co-owned. I do not know which owner wrote the response, therefore I am directing my letter to both of them assuming they are a team, as most restaurant involved individuals are. I recommend reading the referenced article for context and insight. Without further ado, this is my letter.
Dear Ms. Myers and Mr. Gartner, I know too well the dynamic struggles that can take place in a restaurant setting. Often cooks, servers, owners, stewards, managers, bartenders and hosts stumble into situations of exploitation, lack of appreciation, discrimination, belittlement or unnecessary difficulties. I have spoken with guests that would have my kitchen compromise the integrity of a dish by improperly cooking an ingredient. I have encountered individuals that find it hard to believe that not all dishes can be made for take away purposes. It is refreshing to know that I am not alone in wanting to provide guests with the experience that a restaurant should provide. I believe said experience should be one where guests can get a glimpse of the fine-tuned symphony that is carefully put in place to set or reset the tone of that moment in time, with the complex simplicity of a well-served meal. It can be a difficult, albeit not impossible task for both guests and restaurant staff to find ground where ‘wanted services’ and ‘willingly provided services’ share space. Culinary trends cycle, restaurants open and close and hungry guests seeks satiety. I hope that the individuals who grace our tables will put forth as much effort in finding the right meal as we do in preparing it. Our industry needs more people willing to stand by the integrity of their food. There are different strokes for different folks. From chain restaurants to Michelin star establishments, each modus operandi is different, but the goal is always the same: meet the needs of the person walking in to grab a bite. However it is essential that this person knows where to go to have their needs met. While some attorneys practice more than one kind of law, not all divorce attorneys do taxes. Some restaurants may have an international menu, but you would be hard pressed to find a traditional Italian restaurant that would serve you Ethiopian Doro Wat. So in short, thank you. I am sure you have received praise over your eloquently written response to Ms. Sonal B. I instead would like to express my gratitude at knowing you stick to your guns when you should. Your website could not have expressed my sentiment better: “We’re all in this together”. It would be a pleasure to someday dine at Voltaire and it would be my honor to invite you to dinner if you should ever find yourself in my neck of the woods (which changes from time to time). Kind Regards, Chef Chandler Tomayko