Holly Smith, Lauren, TOM discussed on Seattle Kitchen
Chef in the shop. Oh, guess who we have on the line. I believe. I do know, you know all the way from Kirkland, Washington. I prefer to call it Juanita. I think what you like Holly people in one either think of themselves as one Eaton's or lenders. Oh, I think our calendars but I don't know, Tom. I'll have the I don't know if I know many one meetings e like that. That sounds like the outer space Chef. Always. Smith is joining us from Cafe Juanita. Over there on the East side. Is it really true? You've been open now since 2000 I think that 21 years hold on for a moment away. We had our 20th anniversary right after close down for panda. You know, the good news is you're really old. Sad news is I'm that much alter exact. It's always a good marker when someone's in front of you. Exactly. And if when they're not, you know that something horribly went wrong. You know, Holly. It's international women's week. And we're having all women chefs on the show today, and so we thought we would just call and you've been doing such a good job of Morphing your business into something that can handle the cove ID era that we're in. Tell us about. You know how you kind of made the switch over and What your plans are for when things come back, OK, Thanks, Tom. You know, you know, a few weeks before the real close down, you know, which actually was the exactly year two today for us. I knew I believe to close down what happened at some point I just felt it in my bones. So we started, TOC started to think about What I would be comfortable with people taking away right on by knew I didn't want a line that was making food that we've been degrade over time. So we focused on Filled pasta. Fresh pasta do goes things like that on But first we've really was been what's in the walk in? I'm sure you know what we were all faced with. And so you know, the funny thing is I tried to sell a veal chop. Just you know, as if I was your butcher. Um And I don't think any sold and then we started roasting the veal chops and kind of, you know, making, you know, sending you with something to reheat. That was exactly what I would have sold you in house and that Took off and people said that was easy. I could do that. So I feel like I've spent the last year Um, I think about you almost every time, Tom because I worked for you. You know when we were both way back when and yeah. And You were the first chef owner. I'd work for you. You were the first person that came and shops for a dinner party in the kitchen and I do it at home on do you never were good. You didn't really take our prep. You took our ingredients, You know, and, um and it was brilliant and I do it to this day. And so I've tried Tonto. Think about You know what things that I would do that with? You know, in a pinch on give that to the guest and it's actually worked really? Well, it's worked really well. So Um, the on looking forward, and I am doing that a lot. Uh, this week in particular. I think they feel more optimistic than I have in a while. I think we're going to come back. Um Strong. I feel I feel pretty comfortable with that. Um, I don't think that whether it zeitgeist lines that have a set of X or y capacity. Or just people still feeling a little apprehensive for indoor. Um I don't expect that we're going to be as busy for you know the first six months or something. Um, But I think we're gonna come back in with a stronger emphasis on our tasting menu and just follow lip gets already telling us through the 14 months or so before. Everything. Shut it down. Yeah, it's it's crazy time, Chef Terry. Yes, I think I've been following you, Holly and on your website, and I think you do a fantastic job. I think what you've devoted to and what? You just explain his differently. True. I mean, I look at like everybody else. I look at out of website and You do a fantastic job creating and making sure that the attention is given to details in terms off. Can I do this at home? Can I Is it simple enough for people to love and by in volume, and so on so forth. Very well. Father of congratulations to you. Thank you. It's you know, I think we're in that. We've always been in the business of problem solving. And, um And so the thing that I just got a really, um Nice email from definite Kimmel from Marcia and Oregon and kind of saying, What do you doing? We've been, you know, she I think she gets the newsletter and In responding to her. I realized that what's been most important to me is it's the only way I know how to move personally, so this felt good for us was that I'm still the same restaurant. It's a little different, but I'm not saying I'm going to reinvent myself, if something you know Limited Thai food for a year, you know or something, and and I will go and then come back and remember me and see me and we have. We have had a lot of guests that have reached out and said You were on our list. You know you were we were. We were going to celebrate our anniversary. And, you know, April 2000, you know we're going to come and they've tried to Sweden Big new friends and I feel like at least I'm showing. As close as I can, who I am, you know, And so I think it keeps expectations a little safer for pick up and hopefully maybe it's a little bit of the selling quite later. We've built some goodwill with people. Let's talk about you as a woman, if you don't mind for a bit since its international woman's weak and you was a woman in the restaurant business, But you feel at some point that things changed and it was a more hospitable environment for women. You feel like it still has a lot of work to do. And where do you Where do you stand with women in restaurants that right now? You know, I just got asked by someone the other day, they way spent the left like two years. At least without any engineering with an all female line of hot one. There was a gentleman on dessert to non challenge. On DPI. People kept coming up because we're standing in the kitchen dining room, Basically right on. Dad asked, you know, did you do that on purpose? No. So so I have seen more candidates. Which makes me feel like something positive happening. Um, I think one thing You know, Tom, You remember Ingrid? We worked with together and Ingrid. Incredibly talented, but you know, and you watched her exit. The industry rated She was Your chef. Shipping it to different places. Stars and Dahlia can have a baby, you know, and and that What I have been consciously thinking of is how How do I myself But as an industry in general, make it easier, you know? How do we make her industry more flexible so that mothers and fathers can take enough time at home? You know, so that I mean, I don't really It's not. Hopefully it's not just a woman's issue. You know, Um, my current chef de cuisine. Lauren, um, has had to baby 12 for me. Um and And somehow, you know that I think we can build on our experience there with welcoming new people in the kitchen, But I think that the overall worked like balances is almost You know, has historically been a taboo subject. I think in kitchens in particular because it's hard it's hard to achieve. Um and, um We need to find a way I'm trying to figure out a way looking for that my kitchen can age on guy can't afford for them. Yeah, Yeah, exactly Eight age continue to age and and that we could support them. And because I know that when I keep staff, we get better. The consistency. You know, you keep the right team and they continue to grow together. Absolutely. Even Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita. She opened Cafe won it in 2000 is continuing the process of doing to go and getting ready for back indoor dining. If you want to check her out, go to her Web site..