Se­cret to Suc­cess in a Restau­rant

秘诀

Special Focus - - Contents - You Jin 尤今

One day, I went to a French restau­rant for lunch. Lo­cated in Bo­gota, the cap­i­tal of Colom­bia, this very spe­cial and charm­ing restau­rant was only open from 11 am to 4 pm, six days a week.

Eric, the owner of the restau­rant, who knew the psy­chol­ogy of the cus­tomers quite well, cre­ated his own menus and dishes and cooked them care­fully. You can sit at the counter and en­joy the food while chat­ting with him freely. Eric said, “We all know that writ­ing, paint­ing, mu­sic, and dance are parts of the arts. In fact, cook­ing is a more com­pre­hen­sive art, a mix­ture of vi­sion, taste, smell, and touch. Serv­ing a dish is like pre­sent­ing a piece of fine art. How can a chef take it lightly?”

A small black­board hang­ing at the counter lists the menu from Mon­day to Satur­day. The restau­rant only pro­vides three dif­fer­ent dishes per day, and the menu is changed once a week. There is no iden­ti­cal menu in a 6-month pe­riod.

Eric said with con­fi­dence, “We only pro­vide a few dishes each day, so that the chefs can make them per­fect. What we are try­ing to achieve is to make our cui­sine

那天中午,去一家法国餐馆吃饭。这家餐馆在哥伦比亚首都波哥大极具个性与魅力,一周只开六天,每天从中午十一点到下午四点营业。

餐馆老板艾力深谙待客之道,他自创菜肴,用心烹制。你可以坐在柜台边,一边让美食游走于齿颊间,一边和他海阔天空地聊天。艾力侃侃而谈:“世人只知道写作、绘画、音乐、舞蹈是艺术,其实烹饪更是一门综合性的艺术,它是视觉、味觉、嗅觉、触觉四者的圆融结合。一盘食物上桌,无异于呈献 一款精美艺术品,厨师又哪能掉以轻心呢?”

柜台旁挂着一个小黑板,写着由周一到周六的菜谱。餐馆每天只推出三种不同的菜谱,菜单每周更换一次,半年内绝不重复。

艾力信心十足地说:“菜品少,厨师便可以把菜肴做得尽善尽美。我们希望达到的境界是,认顾客吃一次,记一世。”

今天是星期三,黑板上写着四个菜:“南瓜汤、焖猪肉、酸菜肉肠、烤三文鱼。”

艾力微笑着说:“其他餐馆,多以牛肉和鸡肉作为主打食材。我们选用猪肉和鱼类,变幻出与众不同的万千菜肴。”

三菜一汤我们就都点了。没想到,艾力竟然摇了摇头,恳切地说: “太多了,吃不完的。你俩只要各点一样,就够了。”

厨师把焖猪肉递给艾力后就不说话了,只专心做他的盘饰。他小心翼翼地把焖猪肉搁在金黄色的土豆泥上面,配上紫色的茄子、红色的萝卜、翠绿的长豆、淡褐的蘑菇。色彩丰富,仿佛春天满园春色;而那轻轻柔柔如雾的香气,似有脚,娉娉婷婷地徘徊于鼻端。饥饿的感觉立刻变得穷凶极恶。这表面上看似淡定的焖猪肉,内里却充满了暴烈的激情,肥肉将融未融、酥软销魂,瘦肉却充满了光滑精致的弹力;小小一块肉,有着百转千回的丰富滋味。

酸菜肉肠又是另一幅好风景。包菜放在坛子内密封长达三周,取出,酸味正好,用上好的白酒慢火熬煮。甘醇的酒味和柔和的酸味交融在一起,形成了一种绚烂的风情。 以它搭配千锤百炼的肉肠,那种感觉,只能用“艳丽”两个字形容。

菜肴如此诱人的餐馆,却只做中午的生意,为什么呢?

艾力说:“不管从事什么行业,都得劳逸结合呀。厨师一累,便可能失手,做出遗憾的菜肴。我们的工作团队也需要时间好好地研发新菜式呀。”

艾力经营的是一家小餐馆,可是,他却有着许多发人深省的经营哲学和处世之道。秘诀其实是简简单单的两个字:诚意。

(摘自《被人遗忘的天堂》海天出版社)

un­for­get­table even if cus­tomers only have it once.”

It was Wed­nes­day, and there were four dishes on the black­board: “Pump­kin soup, braised pork, sausage with sauer­kraut, grilled salmon.”

Eric said with a smile, “Other restau­rants mostly take beef and chicken as the main in­gre­di­ents. We choose pork and fish in­stead, and cre­ate thou­sands of dif­fer­ent dishes.”

We or­dered the three dishes and one soup. Un­ex­pect­edly, Eric shook his head and said to us earnestly, “That’s too much for you two. Each of you just needs to or­der one dish.”

When the chef handed the braised pork to Eric, he stopped talk­ing, and con­cen­trated on dec­o­rat­ing the dish. He care­fully placed the braised pork on the golden mashed pota­toes, and then added pur­ple egg­plant, or­ange car­rot, green long beans, and light brown mush­rooms. The dish turned col­or­ful, like a gar­den filled with the bright­ness of spring. The light aroma was like a mist, lin­ger­ing around my nose. I sud­denly felt ex­tremely hun­gry. The seem­ingly com­mon braised pork was quite de­li­cious. The soft fat seemed to be melt­ing, and the lean meat was smooth, del­i­cate, and chewy. It was amaz­ing that such a small piece of meat had such a rich taste.

Sausage with sauer­kraut was an­other won­der­ful dish. The cab­bage had been sealed in a jar for three weeks be­fore it was taken out. The sour taste was just right. The sauer­kraut was sim­mered with a first-class white wine. The mel­low wine fla­vor min­gled with the mild sour­ness, cre­at­ing a re­mark­able taste. The dish com­bin­ing the sauer­kraut with the well- sea­soned sausage was just un­be­liev­able!

Why was the restau­rant pro­vid­ing such tempt­ing cui­sine only open for lunch?

Eric told us, “What­ever busi­ness you are in, you need to bal­ance work and rest. If the chef gets tired, he will prob­a­bly fail to keep mak­ing sat­is­fac­tory dishes. Our team also needs time to de­velop new cui­sine.”

Although Eric’s restau­rant is a small one, his phi­los­o­phy of busi­ness and life is thought­pro­vok­ing. The se­cret to his suc­cess is ac­tu­ally sim­ple: sin­cer­ity.

(From The For­got­ten Par­adise, Haitian Pub­lish­ing House. Trans­la­tion: Chen Jiani)

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