Tuesday, November 24, 2015

hashtags with purpose

     Well, the winter holidays are approaching us, and we all cling to our favorite fall flavors. Eating becomes the best of all social events... food evokes those feelings of comfort and warmth. One big food holiday is Thanksgiving. A holiday first shared between Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians in 1621, made a national holiday in 1863 by President Lincoln, and now presently worshiped by the Food Network.
A group of pilgrims enjoy a meal they
 prepared on the Camino de Santiago together.
     As I've grown older, I begin to care less about the hype of the holiday, knowing the USA has a sad past linked to the indigenous people of America. I try to let it be a time were we remember all those people whom helped change the times, and create equality, but also reflect and recognize on the horrible things we as a nation have done as a reminder to move forward and learn from mistakes. 
     One thing I can not deny though, is food. I will never pass up a chance go share a meal with people, to try new recipes and perfect old ones. This holiday has me inspired to try a new type of segment that is more interactive, where you all share with me the dish you create on Thanksgiving day that means the most to you. One Photo, Many Flavors is this weeks title, and on Thanksgiving day when you are all putting in some serious hours in your own kitchens, snap a photo of whatever dish you are most proud of and tell me why! Maybe it's a new recipe that you can't believe you pulled off because boiling water is even a challenge for you, maybe you've been able to recreate something your Grandma used to make, used all farm ingredients for your green bean casserole or even just made a fucking beautiful turkey.
   So, snap a photo that you planned on uploading to Instagram anyway and use the hashtag #onephotomanyflavors and very briefly share what that dish means to you: grandma's recipe, farm ingredients; turkeymaster; etc. You can also e-mail, message, or text me your photo and answer to me, so you can be featured in my blog post touching on how food and cooking are beautiful uniting forces that must be valued.
     Thank you in advance for the participation, I hope I can inspire some really great recipes and top notch cooking!
     Until next time, Prost!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

let me bombard you a bit

     Another scramble for a topic.
     Long day at work finished, on the bus home, headphones in... mind running rampant: I'll just ask people about food and consistency. 

a flock of many opinions: hills of Spain
     I started to think about what consistency meant to me. That answer could be traced back to the reason the idea probably popped into my head: onions. I love them when used to my liking, but hate them raw. That crunch, the texture, the slight slim of a raw onion... I just can't do it. As my mind moved onward I thought about how the word consistency has always been pounded into my head while working in the food industry. That the food must be the same again and again, time after time. I toyed over the opinion that guests can not expect the same exact dish over and over again when different people cook it, under different stress levels, with varying ingredient quality and availability. Then again I am torn,  diners should hold their chefs to a higher standard.
     So what the hell, I reached out to a bunch of random people who have entered my life in different ways, and very vaguely asked them about consistency in food. I found that my sporadic thoughts were just the beginning. Here are all my very random answers to that question that gives you no real direction to follow- in my new segment:

2 Minutes, Same Question
Question: What does consistency in food mean to you and why or why not is it so important?

name: Aurora
deal: 15 years in the biz; dishwasher, prep cook, currently engineer; front of house on the side
     "I am an adventurous yet picky eater. When I think of consistency in food, I think of texture, feel, thickness. I also think about how one food can have many different consistencies. For example; an onion. I used to hate onions. (Two strikes to onions in one post, sorry bro). And it took me until I was almost twenty to realize that it wasn't the flavor of the onion that I disliked, it was the texture. Raw onions just rub me the wrong way. But crispy fried onions and soft caramelized onions, are heavenly. And mushrooms. I don't mind the taste, but I hate their rubbery, smooshy consistency. The consistency of a food is incredibly important! It has to be the perfect texture and thickness."

name: Rory
deal: hospitality major, aspiring chef

     "To me consistency is about doing the right thing every time, and that doesn't always mean doing what the recipe says. You have to listen to your chef, but you also have to understand that ingredients and other outside factors play a varying role day to day. It's our job to be adaptable, and I think that in our industry adaptability is almost synonymous with consistency. Even to remain the same you need to change from day to day."

name: Shayna
deal: health major; professional guest
     "I would say it's important but for different reasons. If I'm going in and ordering something again that means I liked it, and therefore would want the dish to be consistent with the other times I've ordered it...but at the same time a little inconsistency could be good too. Say I wasn't a big fan of a meal or a way it was prepared-- having it slightly different could sway me into really loving it."

name: Carolyn
deal: past server; health education major, human biology minor
     "Food is nourishment that needs to be consistent. What you put into your body has function. To thrive, to repair, to heal, to live. Generally speaking a meal is what your body has to work with. Trusting someone to provide you a meal; whether you are going out to eat, celebrating, sharing with friends and family, or perhaps just grabbing a quick bite; you are putting into yourself the energy it needs to get you through whatever battle your mind needs the physical side of you to fight. Food is a necessity, it sustains life. It is physical, emotional, mental, and social. Sharing meals means sharing your life."

name: Andrew

deal: professor; chef; entrepreneur 
     "Consistency in 'food conformity' to me, is not as important as consistency in 'food availability'. I truly believe that not all carrots, beets, or heads of lettuce will look the same all the time. I am always more concerned with the integrity of the product; was it grown sustainably, distributed with limited impact, and are we able to provide it in consistent quantities?"

name: Jordan
deal: hospitality major; server; guest; cookie fairy
     "Consistency in food is so important to me because it dictates how I feel on a daily basis. (Jordan has to be very aware to enjoy things in moderation in order to feel her best). It's the key to my emotional package. When I am cold and sad, I gravitate towards comfort food; when I am feeling excited and happy, I want to make a meal that not only makes me smile, but ensures my body feel good as well. It's essential to my health that I be consistent with my food because that's how I know I can lead a happy, long lifestyle. Food is the true celebration of life!"

name: Colin
deal: hospitality major; aspiring chef
     "I think it's super important when it comes to things like different stocks, knife cuts and such, but certain things are always open to interpretation. If there is something that can be improved upon even the slightest bit, they why wouldn't you change it. Consistency, to me, means continual improvements in all aspects of the work you do."

name: Sophia
deal: server; food writer
     "For many people, consistency in food means receiving the exact dish they expected, every single time they sit back down at their chosen restaurant. From the ingredients, presentation, and quality of food.
    Although I agree with this definition, given they meet parameters of sustainability and eliminating waste, I would say consistency for me means I receive a dish that is executed with thoughtfulness and up to par with the standards I have set for the restaurant.
     If I order a dish that has slightly different ingredients or doesn't looked the same, that is completely fine, and I would consider that the restaurant is still consistent-- only if everything on the plate is cooked perfectly just like my previous visit.
     I enjoy a story behind a dish. If something has to change, knowing why and how this change makes the dish just as good or more creativity gives me a chance to better understand the food I'm eating, the chefs who create it, and the restaurants ethos.
      Of course, consistency should be one of, if not the most important values to have. Striving for quality every time is what keeps a good reputation, customers continuing to walk in the doors, and positive reviews on yelp (because we know that's actually really important)."

wow dudes
   Not to downplay the people in my life, but I didn't expect the answers to so thorough. Answers that truly exhibited individuals care and passion for food. A few who responded gave me several answers, one told me they'd spent the day talking to their spouse about it in the car, and others just personally really contemplated what the question was asking them. Honestly, no one opinion is right or wrong, and no answer nails it on the head-- but there is something so exciting to me to think about these people taking a minute out of their day to truly think about food, and what it means to them. That's really all I'm truly going for with this blog...looks like I may have to try this segment again.  But in retrospect these different answers give you all the right perspectives. Food in general is intimate, it is deals with the feeling it gives you in your mouth, the senses it excites or triggers. Food is social and emotional, we cling to it in times of celebration, despair, and we also rely on it to helps us continuously feel well. Food is passion and creativity, from the person whom grows it to the one who prepares it. In order to have food with heart you must allow them to be adventurous while still holding them to high expectations in quality, execution, preparation, presentation, and passion.
     I hope the answers above give you some perspective from a direction you've never looked at food with, and I encourage you all to ponder the question yourselves. Also thank you to all those whom answered my extremely random off the cuff text- you are incredible human beings.
   cheers & good day 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Be our guest, be our guest...

     I can't express the beauty of the coffee shop sounds I heard in the background while listening to this recording over and over again. It was a late Sunday afternoon, in rainy Seattle, and the cafe was abuzz with activity regardless of your usually lazy Sunday assumptions. As our neighborhood becomes more active, I can't help but become more and more convinced that most people whom move to Seattle come here for the gloom and the rain.

     With the month of October a mere blur behind me, I've been longing to have the moments to do another blog-post. Not because I know I have fans that would be disappointed (you would need 'fans' for that), but because this blog is my moment of zen in life. I get to sit down with someone special or interesting to me and just talk for a little bit about whatever comes to mind. This week I had the honor of being able to grab a coffee with someone I've really looked up to, and who has also been that smile or kind word when I've needed it. After a long day, I wasn't even sure where to begin without taking a moment to catch up. After it all I felt somewhat rejuvenated, so thank you my friend.

Two Minutes or Two Questions (or more)...
name: Jaclyn Delorey
occupation: past dishwasher, record store associate, grocery store manager, paper delivery service, pop-up dinner chef (check out host-fare.com), current kitchen manager of a popular brunch and dinner spot

What's something that got you into the kitchen and sparked your interest in food?
I've always worked in food. My first job, aside from my paper route in the sixth grade, was working at the local restaurant in my town of Orange, Massachusetts, where I started dish-washing. I happen to get the job because my very close friend's aunt and uncle ran the place. I really liked it there. It was a breakfast place, and I often think it's really funny that I'm now working at a brunch spot again...like full circle... 20 years later, I'm back. But a wider scope answer is that, food has always been a very important thing to my family, where we celebrate with food, and every event is circled around food. I've always found comfort in that and that's how I take care of people. 
Jaclyn in her element while working an event for HOST
     I was never much of a cook then, I was a baker. I baked at that restaurant, went away to college, studied social work; again that caretaker role. Then I promptly quit everything and worked at a record store for a few years. After that I moved to Philadelphia and needed a job, and considering that I could go to a grocery store (as a vegan) and have endless amounts of beautiful vegetables and access to things for special dietary needs...made me think: okay this is where I would work. 

*A few weeks ago Jaclyn had a local farmer named Georgie, whom supplies our restaurant with a lot of it's produce, come in and talk to the staff. I sadly missed that day, but it showed me how meaningful the farmer was to Jaclyn in our practices at work, which I found it very refreshing. 
Where has your passion for the source of your food come from?
   I can't believe how lucky we are. You weren't there for the Georgie talk were you? "Sadly, no." I replied. The biggest thing about meeting her especially, and having her come and talk to us...  all of her business is based on selling to restaurants. She could be certified organic, but she chooses to opt out of the expensive process... and she can because she has built this relationship with us and many other restaurants. She grows her food organically, we trust that it is, and she doesn't have to go... like, she's not able sell her food to certain grocery stores because she's not certified. But, because we share this relationship and know that she's a wonderful woman that we trust and love to support, hence she gives us her business. And it's such a special thing that we are able to get her food and use it to make our delicious meals. She wouldn't be able to survive as well because of the amount of money it costs to become certified. 

     I always intend to add some statistical or scientific facts to these posts so you walk away feeling like you learned something, and honestly it's because I feel the need to sound like I'm educated in order for this blog to be worth the readers time. Today, as I sat down with Jaclyn, I wasn't sure where to take the conversation, but that wasn't a problem. Jaclyn guided the interview without me having to think. I asked her the vaguest of questions and she just delivered inspiration, enough for me to leave you with her own words as the facts for myself to ponder. Why wouldn't restaurants take this opportunity to help out the farmer and spark a change in local economy, sustainability, and in the improving the quality of our food. When you look at the NRA's 2015 Top Menu Trends you'll see: farm estate branded items, hyper-local sourcing, locally grown produce, and locally grown meats and seafood all in the top 10 trends. Chef's are caring, and I feel customers are caring too. Jaclyn added about how the grocery store she had worked at had a program that helped local farmers become certified organic by assisting them with very low interest loans. All these things give me hope. 
     So today I just leave you with the interaction that helped make this interview even more positive for me, considering my background and deep passion for hospitality. 

Is there anything that means a lot to you?
   Taking care of people is just one of the most important things to me in my life. It's a hospitality piece but it's also... I love this person, and I going to feed them and take care of them. In the same level ya know, Dan wakes up in the morning and makes coffee for me every morning , and that's one way that we take care of each other, that feels really special. And, that little piece for me... it's really all I need. 

And that hospitality is what she does, and she does it well.  
Be inspired to get to know your local farmer and why it's important to support them.
Don't know where to start? Contact me with questions. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

the letter: expansion

  Well, I've been visiting home all weekend and in the whirlwind of it all, I was unable to put together an interview. I do however, have something to present and that is a letter I have put together and plan on sending to some bigger names and see what happens. Famous chefs, farmers, big names in food, and important government offices in hopes of learning more.
  So below is my letter, please read it to not only learn more about my goal, but give me feedback! Also, if think you or someone you know would make an interesting interview, please contact me!
  Cheers and thanks for reading!

the letter: 

  In my years of waiting tables and studying Hospitality Management at Northern Michigan University, I picked up the advice that once you’ve delivered a guest’s food, you should check back after “one bite or one minute” to ensure everything is prepared to their liking, and confirm they have all they need for a pleasurable dining experience. I can’t place where I got it from, and it’s very basic knowledge, but nonetheless it is a rule I live by, and pass on to others.
            Now let me officially introduce myself.  I am a small town girl from Michigan who currently works in Seattle at a brunch spot in a historic neighborhood serving an eccentric menu of simple worldly cuisines made with quality ingredients. I am not a journalist, nor do I have any experience in it. I have a blog with no followers, but a grand idea and big dreams for what it will become—so please hear me out.
   “2 Questions, or 2 Minutes Sparked from the rule of thumb I mentioned earlier, 2 Questions, or 2 Minutes is the theme of my weekly mini-interviews for the blog I created: renegade sheep (www.renegadesheep.com). I will ask different people working in any facet of the food industry; chefs, farmers, waiters, meat processors, professors, agriculturists, and so on; two questions. The first question will be something personal, something to help readers relate, to give my interviewees a personality. The second question will be something about an issue or topic—these can really vary, but the end goal is to show how important food and our industry is for our own future, the future of our planet, and future generations after us—and help inspire those who don’t spend the kind of time that those of us in the industry do immersed and exposed to it.           
   If you agree to 2 Minutes or 2 Questions, that is your only commitment—two minutes of your time or answering those two questions, whichever may be up first. I will definitely allow the conversation to go over in either category, but every week I hope to keep the post short and simple so as to keep the reader’s attention.  I am flexible with subject matter and questions asked, I just want to start a conversation in the theme addressed above.          
   I am very optimistic person; somehow I haven’t let the world take away my hope. I wish I could do more, but as a 24 year old from Michigan who grew up raising livestock for 4-H and waiting tables to support myself, this blog is my only hope to, at the very least, get people talking and to also learn more myself so that I can do more one day. I care deeply about food, and the more I learn the more excited I get to teach others.          
    So what do you say? Are you up for it? In this busy world, where time is money, can you spare two minutes of time to stop and reflect?           
   If you are, please get back to me and we can discuss details. I prefer the interviews to be in person or over the phone. E-mailing and texting is fine to coordinate, but I think in order to keep it reflective of the ‘conversation’ theme we must actually have a real life conversation.  The posts will be published every Sunday, so no need to get back to me right away.  Take the time to think about it and ponder the idea, but this is an exciting opportunity—don’t wait too long! I am reaching out to all facets, from well-known to unknown; strangers to friends, out-going to shy, all types are welcome and if you don’t think you have the time or can’t participate, I appreciate if you at least pass the word on to those around, above, and below you that you think may have interest.
Alexandria Palzewicz
            I don’t want to absorb any more of your day, but I must greatly thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and I hope in the future to be a vessel for your ideas—so I can keep the conversation going. That last statement seems ironic because when I’m serving guests, my very job as a waiter is to interrupt the conversation and remind you why you came to a restaurant in the first place: to order, eat, and enjoy the food that someone grew, harvested, delivered, cleaned, prepped and then prepared for you. 
            Thank you again and have a wonderful day,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

one veggie, two veggie, red veggie, blue veggie

  Poor Lauren, she thought when she stopped by my apartment on a rainy Saturday morning, she'd just be picking up an end table. Of course, when I began volunteering at an urban community garden six months ago, I had thought she'd just be the girl interviewing me for the opportunity to do such. This morning my friend was put on the spot to be my interviewee of the week, an unexpected surprise-- just as I had been surprised by her and my fellow volunteer's kindness and friendship.
   When I first moved to Seattle I met Lauren by randomly volunteering at a garden in the city. I had done the same at local farms back home in the past, but now that I had moved to a growing metropolis, I looked to learn more about producing food in urban areas. Lauren was an AmeriCorps member at the time, spending her days working for this large urban garden group doing things like managing volunteers, planting all kinds of wondrous vegetables, and teaching garden lessons to young intercity kids. I always found her inspiring and intelligent, hence my excitement for this opportunity to throw a few questions her way in my second segment of 2 Questions, or Two Minutes:

name: lauren wong
occupation: former researcher, recent AmeriCorps member, aspiring landscape architect, part-time new-found friend

What got you into gardening?
Lauren holding her spoils, harvested from
 Danny Woo Garden where she volunteers. 
   I've been a lifelong observer of gardening. My dad gardens; my grandparents garden; it's something that is very dear to them and I've always carried that with me. [In college Lauren studied the neural mechanisms underlying behavior, and thought she might be a scientist.] Then at UCLA I took this Urban Agriculture in Los Angeles course, which had a hands-on community garden component. Before it, I already had an interest in gardening-- but then I took the course and it really confirmed just how awesome the subject is, how it really broaches different areas: combining science and art in a way that's really cohesive. 

Since you've focused more on urban gardening and food justice, what has been your biggest reward?
   There are so many wonderful things about this work, and I just feel really lucky. It's something that a lot of people can relate to in different ways. For example; there's a community engagement and social justice component, a creativity aspect in that people garden in an incredible diversity of ways, and then there's the focus on sustainability and how we care for the earth, etc. It's a subject where people can relate to different parts of it and take what they will. 

    This interview broke all the rules, it was much more than two questions, and went well over two minutes. But isn't that the dream really? I probably enjoy Lauren as a friend because of her ability to discuss subjects so well and voice her own opinion, as well as be interested in the opinions of others, and keep her mind open and attentive. In our interview she took time to articulate her words and thoughts before answering. She touches so many important issues though, many you won't see in this blog post. One theme did keep reoccurring in our conversation, and that is the diversity that is growing food.
   Two things come to mind when I hear 'diversity' and 'growing' food' in the same sentence. The first is the lack of diversity found in the crops we grow in the US today. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, in 2014 cash receipts by commodity showed corn bringing in 26% of the fortune, followed by oil crops [soybeans] at 21%, I was excited to see fruits and nuts contributing 14%, but devastated that vegetables and melons was a mere 9%. Don't worry though, all that glorious grain gold, aka corn, isn't even considered a food crop, it is in a category of "feed crop" meaning we plan on turning into food for animals so we can all satisfy our burger fix. This diversity stems from our government subsidy program which in 2004 handed corn crops over 2.8 billion dollars, giving wheat, cotton, and rice over 3.6 billion all together, and gave soybeans over 600 million. Don't worry though the category of 'other crops' (which I can only assume means veggies) was given a whopping 160 million dollars. That's about 5% of what corn receives.
   Sorry about all the numbers, sometimes I need them to prove a bit of a point. But let's touch on a more positive kind of diversity. We all have different reasons and roles in regards to growing food. Some people do it as a hobby, others for educational purposes, some as a business or a career. Different people have different techniques-- some passed down from generations before us, others taught in classrooms, and now-a-days many learned via internet articles. There is science behind the soil. There is creativity in landscaping. There is the beauty in growing food. There is a therapeutic feeling when you are in a garden. Urban gardens provide an oasis in otherwise gray cities. Small farms provide a place that helps us remember our roots.
   In closing, I ask a question of my readers. Do you have a diverse relationship with your food? I ask that in not only a dietary sense, but physical sense. I have found the more I interact with food in the stages before cooking and eating, the more excited I get about the endless possibilities that come with all that diversity.

Want to develop a more diverse relationship with your food? Shoot me an e-mail and let me help you get started, as well as guiding you in using your current skills to help change our food systems. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

chef is to food, as food is to chef

let me paint a picture...
   He doesn't know this but the Friday night I 'interviewed' him, I had gotten off work an hour early and spent it drinking a beer near the bar he suggested we met at, pretty much freaking out about how to conduct myself. I met Chris when I first moved to Seattle. He was my Sous Chef when I tried out my first back of house job. I have spent years waiting tables and was inspired to try out the other side of the swing door. Now almost a year later we were grabbing a beer to catch up. I had been looking forward to meeting his new wife, swap stories of travel, and lastly ask him a few questions so he could be my first official interview. He mentioned he was a little nervous right before we began, but I wanted to assure him I had ZERO page-views most days, and that his interview would be read by virtually no one. I was honored he'd even sit down and spend any time at all to talk about issues I value so much.
   Also, the venue he choose? Spot on. It was named Miir, as I sipped my beer I began reading messages on the wall about the company's focus and stance on sustainability as well as their efforts for providing clean water for less fortunate in other countries. What a perfect environment for our meeting. 
   An hour and half after we got there, we realized it was already almost 9 o'clock, the place was about to close and we hadn't spoken one word about the interview. I pulled that move where you let the bartenders know you don't intend on drinking more but if they are cool with it you'd like to chill for few more minutes. The assured me they didn't mind and I sat back down ready to crank this out. Looks like the name of the segment is fitting well. So here is my very first 2 Questions, or Two Minutes:

Chris and his wife Brittany honeymooning through Europe.
Stopping in London, Dublin, Copenhagen and Paris.
name: Christopher Hayes
occupation: line cook; sous chef; preparing meals for computer experts

question one: what in the kitchen puts you most at ease, when do you feel comfortable? 
   When I use my own prep. You know when I've seen something from start to finish. Processed the product, used it for sauces, and seen all of the ingredients follow through from start to finish.

question two: in your profession what do you know or understand more now, than you did before you entered the industry?
   Meats. Before I used to think there was a steak, a sirloin, and hamburger. Chris asked his new wife Brittney what his favorite dish was at a restaurant they had visited while in Dublin. She replied quickly with, "The kidney one!" Chris continued on how it was: more rewarding to use less desirable cuts of meat, things others may throw away. Things like caul fat, kidneys, bone marrow and cuts of meat you don't see in the grocery store, they all get you thinking and remember that you are consuming an animal, that something had to give up it's life for that meal. 

   And before we know it, we were out the door. Shaking hands and heading our separate ways. I can already tell that regardless if anyone starts to read this or not, this is an experience I will keep doing. There is nothing better than sharing and comparing ideas. I love hearing peoples opinions and thoughts on something, it helps inspire me, get me excited and thirsty to know more. Chris's thoughts couldn't be more important for the time. Our culture here in America has always had meat as a staple in our diets, and you can tell we are influencing other countries as meat consumption grows. What not all of us realize how much energy is needed to raise that animal, how many hundreds of gallons of water, how many pounds of grain and how much oil is needed to produce that product.
   I am not here to judge or make your life choices for you but something to keep in mind is how much time and energy has gone into the food you consume. That effort may be from the chef who washed the produce, broke down the cuts of meat, simmered the stock, and created that plate of food in front of you-- or the energy the environment put into helping that animal you are eating grow into a delicious meal. 
   Be thankful to your chef, and when you see he or she put kidneys, a vegan dish, or just something unknown to you on the menu, don't turn your nose-- give it a try so we can be a more sustainable culture who uses everything nature provides and treat it with the respect it deserves. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

getting the pan hot.

   It's pretty basic knowledge how important it is to get your pan hot before you begin cooking, I'm applying the same rule here. I have an idea for a weekly blog post interviewing different people from all facets of the food industry to answer two questions and give me a few minutes of their time. Before I tell you all about it and finalize all the details, I think it's for the best I be my very own soft opening...

two minutes or two questions 

name: Alexandria Palzewicz
occupation: foh staff; casual fine dinning, seattle

question one: when you close your eyes and picture nostalgia, where are you?

   I am walking down the street by the police station and retirement home, approaching a big downhill that leads to the countryside, where I often saw deer, fox, butterflies, birds and other beautiful forms of nature. I just left stopping by my Grandma's apartment, halter in hand; halter of my market lamb that is. I was a member of 4-H and raised a new lamb each may to sell at our state fair market sale every year. I walked down my residential streets with a lamb the same way all my neighbors walked their dogs. To look back at that sight, I realize it's rarity and can't help to go to my happy place. 

question two: in your years of serving tables i'm sure you'be had a wide array of customers.
if you could address them right now, what would you say? 
   I know I have some fellow servers who would have a response to this that would be very inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18 to be exposed to and I would be lying if I said that on my occasional bad day, I wouldn't agree with with a statement like that. But my answer would have to be that customers need expect more out of restaurants. My peers probably let their jaws drop with that statement because the restaurant industry is one of constant motion, hustle, and hard work. The areas where I think customers have let us slack on these years have been in our ingredients and sense of sustainability. Of course that goes hand it hand with our disconnect from food as a society.

  Chefs are becoming more conscious of their ingredients, their sustainability, and most importantly their taste. You as customers should expect your chef's to have shaken the hand of the person who grew that pepper or tomato because that means they were cared for by someone who is invested, who knows a real trade (as trades disappear from the workforce) and it means the product has traveled less hence having a smaller carbon footprint. You should expect me, as your server, to be able to get you engaged, to remember how important, exciting, and intimate the practice of eating is. The catch is that once we start holding restaurants to these expectations we just might begin to hold ourselves as individuals to the same standards. You could let your kids play video games and eat potato chips all Saturday, or you could bring them to a farmers market, garden or nearby farm.

How's everything tasting?
Please let me know what you think, I need feedback before I finalize the idea. Please comment below with questions!