Running a cafe isn’t rocket science, is it? That’s what everyone thinks. It’s certainly what I used to think, until recently. This whole experience of extending the commercial kitchen while hosting a full house of guests each night is not exactly a piece of cake. It’s especially not a piece of coffee-hazelnut ombre torte with candied wild-harvested angelica – take it from me.
Anyway, it’s coming along, and I think it’s all going to be okay. But it’s been a bit touch and go, what with not having any-time access to our full range of kitchen appliances. When it’s done, everything should run more smoothly than it did before – smoother than my signature crème de menthe buttercream, if I’ve got anything to do with it.
I’m just saying, though – choose your timing wisely when undertaking kitchen renovation projects. Melbourne crowds wait for no reno when it comes to fine dining, and at least one critic has been quite ungenerous, refusing to take the overhaul-in-progress into account in his review. “Is a fifteen minute wait for a cocktail acceptable, in this age of time saving appliances?” Well, monsieur restaurant critic, I’ll leave that up to you, won’t I? Evidently, your highness doesn’t think it is, so why not just say that?
More to the point, he didn’t even mention that we were renovating, and that was the reason for the wait. This is even after I took the time to explain to him that the new kitchen design would make everything more efficient, resulting in faster service and an even higher level of culinary creativity. But yeah, he saw fit to disregard all of that, and there’s nothing to be done about it but strive for betterment. Excuse will get us nowhere among this tough crowd.
So, while it’s true that running a cafe isn’t rocket science, it is a continual challenge – much like constructing a perfect croquembouche on a humid day.