(Blogger’s Note: Every Friday an excerpt from the soon-to-be published book, Faux Pas is French For Restaurant, appears in this space.) Customer service was not the only thing that Chef Jesse didn´t excel in; his culinary skills lacked the expertise needed to perform to our standards. As we would learn throughout each course of the Raymond event, the chef´s style was mediocre, his presentation bland and his food flavorless.
Although the party ended on a nice note, it was nothing anyone would rave about to friends, family and neighbors who had not attended.
Having watched Jesse for the past months with an open mind, expecting to gain some insight and knowledge into the business, we were disappointed that his style, technique and ability were less than sensational. Having spent a decade in New York, we soared in the style category and we envisioned Cottagewood as a simple place, serving sexy food, with a style that was unequalled. We knew that night tat would happen if Jesse were running the
kitchen and producing the show. It was time to begin spending longer hours in Deephaven.
That could be difficult. We were struggling to keep Crocus Hill opened. The complexities of juggling two properties were beginning to hit us. Employee problems that earlier were just outside our office now seemed miles away, and they were. Whenever we were at one location, we were concerned about who was watching the other. We had to make a decision to either split our time or get out of the antique we had purchased and tried to modernize. That, we were sure would take some time.
While focusing on increasing business in Cottagewood, inventory shortage became more apparent at Crocus Hill. Meat seemed to be spoiling faster when we were not present. Surprisingly, vegetables of the expense sort – asparagus, specialty mushrooms, lettuces, herbs, and difficult to find fruit also tended to ripen quicker in our absence. Stilton, Huntsman, and Cotswold, along with other imported pate´ seemed also to perish while we were in Deephaven. In a matter of months, we had become grocers, delivery specialists, bankers, and now we had to set our sights on private investigation in order to discover the problem, all the while learning how to juggle schedules, time, and finances. Who could have ever imagined the simple life could be so grand.