Monday, March 01, 2010


To me there has always been something incredibly seductive about restaurant kitchens. I fell under their spell many years ago. Seduced by the unique aroma of cold rooms and glistening stainless steel bench tops; the heat emanating from sturdy ranges, simmering hot pots filled with mysterious ingredients and slippery oil-splattered floors, I knew I had to be part of that weird, wonderful world. I was alive! Like Niagara Falls, my adrenalin copiously flowed! I was charmed, intrigued and captivated! I’m sure many would question my sanity, but don’t worry, I’ve been insane for years so save your time!

After a few years of dangerous manoeuvering one adopts a unique kitchen gait, one that’s even more contagious than the Hokey-Pokey! Without it, danger lurks in every step and corner!

Akin to curtains rising upon a stage show, the doors of the restaurant open, and the show begins! Eager diners stream in, and their orders take over the kitchen, staring at you from spikes above the ranges…the spell is broken in a blink! It’s all systems go! If you don’t have all the preparation done, the restaurant may as well remain closed. All hell will break loose otherwise! You’ll be so behind the eight-ball, you’ll never catch up. Disaster lies in ambush! One’s focus must remain unbroken until the last meal is served. It’s a very stressful, but rewarding job - one not for the faint-hearted.

These days I prefer a leisurely lunch spent with a good friend like the one I had over the weekend here at my personal dining table, or the one I shared at same friend’s home a couple of weeks ago. Both were lots of fun, just kicking back over a wine or two, simple, but excellent food, while being entertained by music from the Sixties, causing much reflection on the days of our youth – a time of mental growth; a time of taking both tentative and brash steps towards discovering our respective place in life. The Sixties were a magical mystery tour!

I’m glad I was part of it all – and can remember that I was!

To quote Bob Dylan: “People today are still living off the table scraps of the Sixties. They are still being passed around -- the music and the ideas.”


  1. As a fellow child of the 60s, I just love this post, Lee! It truly was a magical time in which to grow up.

  2. I grew up in the 60's and 70's. Class of '79, that's me.

    I love the smell of cooking food, too.


  3. Hi Serena and Janice...

    There's something special about restaurants...they'll always have a hold over me. I love the huge ranges; admire those who slave over them and still come out at the end with smiles on their faces...smiles of achievement. I know...I've been there and understand the feeling. They're a world of their own.

    Thanks for calling by. :)

  4. And as for The Sixties & Seventies...I'm glad I was a part of them!

  5. Lee,
    Restaurants are OK by me, especially those quiant little out of the way bistros of France. But the top of my list would be in a cozy home kitchen around the table with friends listening to 60's music and chewing the fat about life's vicissitudes.

  6. I know what you mean, Rel, but I fulfilled my dream and desire and worked in restaurant kitchens for many and creating for the hungry masses. I became part of and one with the excitement (and hard work). It's a crazy business!

    I love sitting around a kitchen table, too...kitchens are the heart of a home.

  7. Lee
    A fun post. I can see you now dancing the resturant hokey pokey. Dylan was correct since I too was a child of the sixties. Those were the days of care free youth. Thanks for the memories. Peace

  8. G'day, Lady're welcome! :)

  9. Dear Lee ~~ I enjoyed your post about life in the sixties and it is great that you have such great memories. Thank you for your comments and glad you enjoyed the jokes. I am doing OK, swelling down a little and I have had an echo-
    cardiogram and await the results of that. Thanks for your good wishes Lee. Take care, Love, Merle.

  10. Glad to hear you're doing okay, Merle...keep doing that, my girl! :)

  11. You have the soul of a poet, Lee. Yes, the sixties was a great time. Full of change, but still relatively were we.

    Is this a sign of second childhoodk all this reminiscence? I've been doing a lot of it lately. Maybe it has something to do with turning 65...

  12. I've never left my first childhood, Robyn! Still awaiting the advent of my second! I'm enjoying my first too much! ;)

  13. I worked as a restaurant manager during my early to mid twenties. I thought I'd make the restaurant business my life and that time but funny how life had other plans for me. I look fondly back though and your post reminded me of the things I enjoyed and still stress about now in my sleep sometimes --- Being in the weeds is what we called it. Too many tickets and not enough hands but it was always exhilarating at the end of the shift when you realized that you had risen to the challenge and made it to the other side.

  14. The adrenaline rush is hard to describe and the feeling at the end of a night once that last docket is filled and diner served, of the challenge achieved is unique...night after night. It's a "high" that's difficult to describe, Robbie - that's for sure.