i am in paris where my husband i just had a delicious and soulful meal including a bottle of wine for the grand total of 81 euro.
walking home, my husband mentioned david chang’s latest ramblings about tokyo having the best food in the world and (i’m paraphrasing here) paris and italy can fuck off. coming on the tail of his rant about how hard it is to make money running a restaurant in new york, i gotta say, i’m really getting annoyed with “sir” david chang.
i run a business in new york. it isn’t a restaurant. but, i have all the same challenges david chang faces. rents are high. customers are fickle. only difference is i have to pay my employees a living wage and can’t get away with paying salespeople (known as waiters in restaurantese) peanuts and hoping my customers will fill a tip cup to make up the difference.
i wish david chang would stop whining.
yes, new york is expensive. but nowhere else do people spend like they do in our wonderful city. yes, rents are high. but has anyone looked at the markup on wine and booze? yes employees are expensive, hard to find and tough to keep. you are the fucking boss and get to keep the profits from their labor.
i think i mentioned i am in paris. where people cook in microscopic kitchens without any of the “kiss the ground i walk on” adoration showered on american chefs. today i had lunch in a wine shop that somehow morphs into a restaurant during lunch and dinner. the owner, albeit wearing a martin margiela sweater, waits on tables. not just when someone calls in sick but every time i’ve been there. he also sells wine off the shelves, simply reaching over customers to grab a bottle when someone shows interest. dinner was at a popular place down a long long deserted alley. the kitchen barely had room for a stove. the place was packed with people eating some of the most delicious food i’ve had all year. and that includes the two fantastic meals i had in tokyo in january.
so, please david chang, shut up.
you are not the only business person who has it hard.
and you are not the only chef who has to figure out how to turn a profit.
and if you don’t think paris has fucking amazing food, you are eating at the wrong places.
i just needed to get that off my chest.