by Kemp Minifie, Gourmet
In Gourmet Live's The Style Issue, I profiled the artist and food stylist, Paul Grimes, who brings a painter's eye to the preparation of food for the camera. Since high school, Grimes has also spent a lot of time in restaurant kitchens and dining rooms--working and dining in both--so I was curious to get his take on current trends in that industry.
Open Kitchens: "I am not a fan of open kitchens, or the entertainment of the open kitchens. When I go to a restaurant, I am not interested in watching them make my food. I am more interested in the people I go with. I work in kitchens. I'm not going to pay money to watch a kitchen."
Music: "I do not like music in restaurants. This trend for loud music? People have the attention span of a tsetse fly!"
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Front of the House: "I like the waiter station to be close to the door. I think it is awkward walking into a large space, and you don't know where to go. You should be immediately taken care of. At Taillevent in Paris, they had an electronic system when you came in the door, so that [the late] Monsieur Vrinat was already walking down the hall to greet you. Whether you were the King of Jordan or Joe Schmo, you were treated equally."
Lighting: "Good lighting is vital. I hate it when people adjust the lighting in a restaurant. It's like a lightning bolt has gone through the room, and you never detect that the lighting has dimmed."
Napkins: "I hate polyester napkins!"
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Bathrooms: "I hate bathrooms next to the kitchen."
At this point, you might wonder what Grimes does like in a restaurant, besides a warm greeting, no music, good lighting, linen napkins, and of course, good food. "I love beautiful flowers," he said with a sigh, "and clean water in the glass flower vases!"
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by Kemp Minifie, Gourmet
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an