For Brendan Edwards, a successful Detroit chef, cooking and working in the restaurant business is more about hosting and making guests happy than it is about the food itself, and his dining talk looks into the best way to achieve that goal. As he sees it, food is about building relationships — people sit down at a meal together and talk — and a chef's job is to foster that social aspect as much as possible.
The relationship experience comes down to two factors: the quality of the host and the quality of the guest. Dining is a two way street, and no matter how good a restaurant is at hosting people, those people still have a responsibility to accommodate the restaurant. Edwards uses the example of his time spent travelling in Mexico. As a foreigner, he was told to avoid eating too many vegetables, since his stomach wouldn't be able to handle the water in which they were washed. When staying at a local family's home, they offered him a delicacy by slaughtering and serving a pig — a rare occasion in a poor, rural area. Pig, however, is traditionally served with lettuce. Edwards opted to accommodate the family's generous gesture by partaking and simply eating less than he might otherwise.
Restaurant Dining Etiquette
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