As chefs and culinary students, most of you have probably watched episodes of "Top Chef" and listen to Tom Colicchio's words intently. The head judge of the food-based reality show also runs his empire of Craft restaurants in New York.
I met friends for brunch at CraftBar - a more informal version of Craft — today.
We started off with glazed buttermilk doughnuts - perfect. For my main dish, I devoured a baked egg with confit leeks, short ribs, fingerling potatoes and Ibarra chocolate - also very tasty.
But eating at CraftBar, it made me think about how celebrated chefs with multiple restaurants go about their business.
One kitchen is hard enough to run but to have multiple, I can't even begin to imagine the process. From my limited knowledge, part of these chefs' success is to be able to set a system where they can maintain quality and standards.
Danny Meyer is one restaurateur whose name I've heard when chefs talk about a person with a successful business model.
Although I enjoyed my meal at CraftBar, there's a part of me that feels differently about dining at one of many popular restaurants that a chef owns. Perhaps it's all pure conjecture, but I feel different - everything seems more personalized - when dining at a mom-and-pop restaurant.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to have my same brunch from today any weekend.