The restaurant has been open for more than 20 years, and in that time, some of this city's best chefs (some of this country's best chefs!) went through that kitchen. Not only amazing back of the house staff, but front of the house as well. It's all been said before...from EaterSF, from Michael Bauer himself, MenuPages, and all over the blogosphere. Nothing new I can really add?
But what CAN I say? This place is more than a restaurant to me. It's the place that let me cook. The place I was given a chance in the kitchen. Where I was given the chance to see if I could cut it, and a place where I could learn.
The time I staged there, were some of the best food moments I've had in my life. The experience, the people I met, the things I learned about food, the things I learned about the profession and most importantly, the things I learned about myself, will always be with me.
I thank Jim, Seis, Ian, Patsy, Paul, Mike, Jose, Nino, Tasia, Katie, Seth, Alberto...the list goes on and on. The front of the house, the back of the house...everyone from the servers to the runners to the dishwashers helped me out at one point or another.
I only have one candid snap shot from my time cooking there, and it's not the best photo, but a photo that I cherish. Especially now. That was a special time and a time that can't be recreated.
I know my short stint staging and working the pantry station might not seem like much to those in the profession. The people that do this day in and day out, for 10, 12, 14 hours a day. For 5, 6 or even 7 days a week.
But to me, it was important. And it was an experience I don't take lightly. So excuse me while I sit in my corner and mourn the closing of this restaurant and the end of a special chapter in my life.