I sometimes think that I’d like to start a restaurant. My life revolves around food. A lot of what I eat is crap, but I crave the good stuff. Here are a few food-related thoughts:

One Kris and Craig have been e-mailing each other, planning their tomato crops for next year. They’re also planning to take a knife class together. (With all this discussion about grow lights and knives, I’m sure the FBI is closing the noose around these two.)

Two The other night, Paul Carlile and I had a longish chat via instant messaging. (Paul is the only person with whom I ever use IM. Strange, huh?) During our conversation, I mentioned that if I ever opened a restaurant — which is this dream that I have in the back of my mind — then I’d love to have Paul working with me. He has a lot of experience working many aspects of restaurant life.

Three I keep saying that I need to have a Gourmet Potluck. I’d invite the Foodies that we know (meaning: Paul/AmyJo, Craig/Lisa, Jeremy/Jennifer), and ask that each person prepare one stellar dish that they love. It sounds like heaven.

Four Though I never mention it here, I spent six years working in various food service jobs. Much of the time I did grunt work. I loved it. Someday I’ll jot down first my memories of working fast food, and then my recollections of working in the coffee shop at Holiday Inn.

If I were to open a restaurant, it’d be fun to assemble a dream crew of co-workers from among my friends. My talents don’t really lie in the kitchen; in situations like this, I’m excellent at planning and organization. I’d be the behind-the-scenes manager type. Who would I like to join me?

I’d definitely want Jeremy as the “face” of the establishment, the person who interacted with customers, made wine recommendations, answered questions, talked about the food. Jeremy’s passionate and knowledgeable about food, and he could sell ice to an Eskimo.

I’d want Paul Carlile to be in charge of banquets and large groups. I’d have a trio of kitchen divas: Kris, Jenn, and Amy Jo. These three would be responsible for baked goods, and especially for menu planning. My head chef? My head chef would be Craig, who would quietly and skillfully chop and grind and cook, serving up strange but wonderful dishes.

Yessir, with a lineup like this, we could have the finest restaurant in all of Portland!

7 Replies to “The Finest Restaurant in All of Portland”

  1. Lisa says:

    Your party of delicious appetizers when Aimee and Joel were visiting is close to the foodie potluck idea. The appies certainly were great–a potluck would be even better!

  2. Jim Osmer says:

    Shana and I always joke about me opening a restaurant called “the Intolerant Carnivore”. Not modifications to anything on the menu, lots of protein.

  3. Rich R says:

    I’ve always wanted my own restaurant or bar. The bar would probably be a more profitable venture, but the restaurant would be more satisfying personally. I love to cook, but don’t get enough time to do it as often as I would like.

    Then again, cooking for a living rather than for fun might suck the enjoyment right out of it.

  4. jenefer says:

    I worked my way through college cooking. It was always good for the mood. However, as I moved in to my career in accounting, it became clear to me how hard it is to make a decent living in food service. You either have to committ to working 70 hours a week or making your living off the backs of the other workers. Neither option is much fun. If your life really revolved around food, then being at the restaurant 70 hours + a week wouldn’t be a big deal, but I suspect there are many other things in your life you love to do.

  5. John says:

    Jim, you would be well served by reading Anthony Bourdain’s “Les Halles Cookbook”. It’s got some great recipes for the type of customer you have in mind.

    Les Halles is recognized as “a place where you could dress down, cut loose, gnaw bones, suck marrow, talk loudly, drink a little tooch wine, and have a good time.” The menu is decidedly carnivore-friendly!


  6. Joel says:

    So I guess I better start commenting about the flotch here?
    Wasn’t that article about Philip Pullman interesting? I loved this idea, paraphrased: “Your life begins when you are born. Your human story begins when you realize you were born into the wrong family.”
    Also important: the realization that Pullman is the kind of person to own two pugs. And give them witty (to him) names.
    That is all.

  7. Lisa says:

    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain is a fascinating (and terrifying) look at life in the restaurant biz. But Craig’s book club pic may be enough culinary reading for now… (The Perfectionist : Life and Death in Haute Cuisine, by Rudolph Chelminski).

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