Overheard this evening having some ramen with Benny in Wagamama. The man sitting next to us, whether or not he was attempting to impress his female partner with his urbane wit and worldly ways it was difficult to ascertain, proclaimed at a volume somewhat above the conversational register, “and that’s just a Show-Kitchen, you know.” I only subliminally caught this comment at a tangent to the conversation I was having and the depths of its inanity only occurred to me later, after I had left the restaurant.
Work through the logic with me here, if you will. Say that I want to manage a successful Asian-Fusion restaurant. Then, obviously, the one thing that will critically aid my success would be to build an authentic-seeming, open-plan, faux kitchen within my restaurant and then pay some competent chef-actors (you know the ones: ‘resting’ between pasta commercials and those scenes in The West Wing where the President departs the building post-lecture via the kitchen, service elevator and subterranean car-park) to convincingly chop, boil and fry some noodlenium and vegatarianna. At the same time, I will also manage and staff (with what, Oompa-Loompas?) another secret ‘real kichen’ somewhere out of sight; ferrying food to my customers via concealed dumb waiters and waiting associates trained in the black arts of prestidigitation. What a brilliant business model.
Is it any wonder that these days I am rarely surprised that so many people engage their mouths without first putting their brains into gear.