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C H EF ’S TA B L E ARE YOU TOUGH OR FORGIVING WHEN YOU GO OUT TO EAT? WHAT KINDS OF DETAILS DO YOU NOTICE? Catch these chefs and dozens more at the Grand Taste Experience June 26 and 27 at the Durham Armory. They'll serve their best bites, complete with craft beer, wine and live music. Visit

If there are some misses

forgiving, but it depends on how much I am paying. The more I’m paying, the more critical I am. I am always checking out brands of plates, glassware and silverware. I also love studying restaurant and kitchen design. It is fascinating how much design and layout can affect guest experience, efficiency and productivity.

with the food, it’s not as much of a deal breaker as poor hospitality. Being in the industry, I understand how hard it is to deliver a top-notch guest experience on a consistent basis. That being said, it’s hard to take my ‘operator hat’ off when I go out. I’m always looking at the details – light bulbs, paint, cleanliness, culture of the restaurant (staff), management presence, execution of the food, etc. At the end of the day, however, when I go out, it’s to spend quality time and engage with my dining companions. Going out to eat should be fun after all!

Sean Fowler Mandolin

James Huff Babalu Tapas & Tacos

I am usually pretty


May/June 2019

When I’m sitting there

I know how hard people

work in kitchens, and I know that most of the time we’re all striving for perfection. But we’re only human, and sometimes we make mistakes. When I’m at a table in a restaurant, I pay special attention to the quality of the ingredients, the plating, the diversity of textures and colors in the food, the aromas and the quality of service. I know how much attention goes into the details, and I think it’s right that we pay attention to them.

Roberto Copa Matos COPA

at a table in a restaurant where something might be going wrong, I’m wondering if I could jump in the kitchen and help them out in any way, including washing the dishes! I never have, but it always crosses my mind. I like to think I’m very forgiving because I know I’ve made mistakes in the past. The thing I notice the most is the server’s knowledge of the food and drinks. It always makes my day when the person serving me my meal is as excited as I am to be there. That very often will make a good meal great!

Kelly Potts Societa SicilianAmerican Comfort & Street Food

Profile for Shannon Media

Chapel Hilll Magazine May/June 2019  


Chapel Hilll Magazine May/June 2019