"two starters ready for table two, quick!"
early into the debut night of the flying italian i actually said those words.
that's when it hit me hard.
i was doing it!
matthew, official photographer for the brighton festival and la cena, runs up and down the stairs to bring orders and take plates. max, mac evangelist and it technician runs around the kitchen trying to make sense of what i'm telling him.
i run around the kitchen trying not to look like an headless chicken on panic.
the first guest arrive. the first plates go upstairs.
more guests. more plates.
the plates come back empty.
everything runs smoothly.
"any comments matthew?"
"yeah, everybody says food is great..."
"but woman at table 7 says it is edible"
oh well, i'm all up for some constructive criticism, i'll check that table later.
later on i go upstairs.
all plates are empty. good sign. my maternal (??) side rejoices.
there's a table where nobody had any cake.
my maternal side shrieks in disbelief.
i approach the table.
one of the ladies asks:
"so what is it that you teach in your cook group??"
i explain while the lady looks aloof and dismissive. then, full of drunken contempt, she says
"i can teach *you* how to make a cheese cake without making it curdle..."
"yes. this cake is curdled. you know, it tastes of whey!"
"...errr madam this is a ricotta cake and ricotta is just pure whey..."
"isn't this mascarpone??"
"please look at this menu: it says *ricotta*. by the way, you might be interested to know that one of the things i teach is how to tell ricotta from mascarpone.."
almost everybody left happy and tipped generously.
ricotta woman and her lady friends' bill was £57.50. they paid with £58.00 and asked for their 50p change.