Italian by Night

by Michelle

Being called ‘cool’ by people half your age is awesome!

Yesterday morning as I was perusing my Twitterfeed I read the tweet “barbbarbbarb I’m excited to be included in this list of local blogs: @bitebymichelle @judithmackin @chelsdonaldson @station_nation @barbbarbbarb #Saltys“.

I almost spewed my morning coffee all over the computer screen. I couldn’t believe it. I have been nominated in the Salty’s ‘coolest blog’ catagory.

It was a lovely way to start my day… wow!

Now, back to earth – we are six days away from officially launching ‘Italian by Night’. To thank the staff at Urban Deli for their patience and extra effort during the preparation stage, Liz and Gord hosted a ‘tasting’ evening. Every staff person was invited to come and sample our Valentine’s Day menu.

Being presented with a new menu, with unfamiliar food, written in a language that you do not understand, can be a little off-putting. I used the evening to talk about how the food is prepared, how it is pronounced and how it will be served.

Dinner was to begin at 6:30 pm. At 6:15 pm, as I stood in my new work space, I realised that my hands were trembling. For the first time in many years, I would be cooking for strangers.

My guests that evening were not my usual ‘foodie’ pals. They were the heart and soul of the restaurant – young servers, line-cooks, prep people and dishwashers. Most have had very little exposure to Italian food.

As I began to speak about the ‘Italian’ food experience we will be offering, I could see a collective glaze settling over the eyes around the table…

Each platter of unfamiliar food was welcomed, not with happy anticipation but rather the worrying look of having to taste something wierd.

I have always believed that good food speaks for itself. Andrew and I left our guests to explore the food and speak freely to one another. Having me hover would have been counter productive!

For three hours we served platter after platter of Italian food. I can’t remember exactly at what point, I over heard, “son of a b*#c! – this is good”. Andrew and I laughed.

My hands were no longer shaking.

Thanks for reading.

A big hug and kiss to my dad for today’s photography.  xo