Go is a fantastic Chinese game played throughout oriental civilisation. It is a board game for two adversaries, who play with black and white pieces. Bolder people may compare it to chess, where two divided worlds also face off against each other with black and white pieces, as we might define chefs and waiters. In chess you have to kill to win. In go you have to build to live. The objective is not to take your opponent's pieces but rather extend your territory.
This is how the relationship between kitchen and dining room teams should be addressed in the gastronomy of the future. Building and proposing strategies for seducing. The dining room of a restaurant provides a cohesion that few places can emulate. It is a universe of emotional connections, enriched with the feedback of proximity.
We are called upon to reinterpret our profession, leveraging these buoyant times in cuisine in order to grow with our white-jacketed colleagues. Seduce, so that they can seduce.
We should be able to connect emotionally with chefs and prepare the way we interact with diners better. Attend to them with a deliberate and calm look. Make the most of oriental charm, its ritual. The chanting in the tea ceremony is an example for western service.
Feeling good, comfortable, clean, it is said that he or she who perfumes themselves – in our case subtly - has a better concept of themselves. Paying attention to fashion trends to update our garb. Asking the right questions. Reflecting upon tone of voice. With a natural, frank smile. Pushiness may lead to ridicule, while servility frightens and overwhelms. Simplicity, please, simplicity and normality as the norm.
The reconstruction of cuisine in the dining room, addressing new changes and concepts can be fascinating. Interpreting the rhythm and pauses of the table. Becoming storytellers, narrators of dishes and wine and much, much more… Wisdom is indispensable for physical and mental decompression, and it should come as no surprise that study and knowledge are part of our vain refuge. They enshroud the exercise of our profession. The foundations are study, perseverance, consistency and curiosity, so as to become more confident and self-assured.
This is important, of course, although not vital. The values of the waiter of the future surpass specific knowledge and training, they lie in generosity and in managing emotional intelligence wisely.
I feel very fortunate, enjoying as I do the support, predisposition and collaboration of my dining room team. A great part of our success may be attributed to them. We are immersed in an extraordinary period of positive inertia, and being able to showcase the charms of our cuisine with the loyalty, rigour, predisposition and affection so lovingly exhibited by my team is a veritable luxury. Let us hope that this positive energy spreads beyond the confines of our establishment.
Sebastià Serrano reminds us that we hominids came to woo. He is endorsed by his wisdom, so I would call upon you to woo our clients with affection and an outstretched hand.
Fortunately, the profession of the waiter, besides all the wining and dining amid dishes and drinks, is also entwined, like the roots of a tree, with clients who seek shelter and warmth. Every contact with someone is an opportunity to improve their life.
Dear colleagues, future diners, esteemed chefs, the dining room is in no peril, because it is like the good, full-bodied and plucky wine which never dies, but rather reinvents itself, perhaps better now than ever. Be ready to be seduced.