Thursday, May 06, 2010


From 1983-1987, I worked at Chuck's Steak House, a restaurant that was quite popular at the time but does not exist today (not in Sacramento, at least - the original is in Honolulu, and we went there on our Hawaii trip in 2006). For the first year, I was a bus boy, and after that a waiter. I was in graduate school at the time - never finished my Masters Degree (finished the coursework, but not the thesis), but met my wife in one of my classes, so it wasn't a total loss.

I may have learned just as much as a waiter - how to deal with unreasonable people; how to form a team with a group of people that have little in common except for the fact that they work at the same place - as I did in graduate school. Waiting tables is a hard job, and to this day I appreciate good service at a restaurant as much as I do the food.

Every now and then, our manager would set up a "wine seminar" for the wait crew. Our wine merchant would come into the restaurant in the afternoon, ask each of us to open a bottle and present it as if we were presenting it to a customer. He'd tell us about each wine, and then critique our technique - and even if we hadn't done a great job; well, heck - there were 6-7 open bottles of wine that needed to be consumed before the work night began.

The corkscrew in the picture above is the one I was given at the last wine seminar I attended, which was probably in May or June of 1987. Once you get a great corkscrew, you should never let it go. This one has served me well for almost 25 years, and I expect it to be around for at least another 25. That is, if they are still making wine with corks by that time.


le0pard13 said...

One marvelous memory, Jeff. Thanks for sharing it.

Jeff V said...

You're welcome - and thank you!