The Skirt Steak Files

for ladies who cook, professionally
Documenting the outtakes, outbursts and opinions behind the book SKIRT STEAK: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat & Staying in the Kitchen (Chronicle Books; October 24, 2012. PRE-ORDER it on
  • July 3, 2012 9:52 am

    And Now, A Few Random Musings from Gabrielle Hamilton

    "There’s hardly a discrepancy between what I make and what the fucking dishwasher makes, only because that’s just the nature of this 30-seat, non-profit, little piece of shit and when you plug in the hours and all that shit. But, right, I’m in the white jacket, out front, shaking hands with table six, and the Mexican porter is not."

    "Well, I love, Alex Witchel wrote a little piece ( about how—I mean, she’s a drinker, right? She’s an old school broad, in a way, and, she smokes, she writes—hard writing—and she drinks her drink. And she mentioned us in a piece a long time ago. She’s like, Fucking thank God, they put the glass down, the alcohol, I can add my tonic or my soda as I like. And she’s a real straight-up, you know like, I’ll just have a whiskey and soda’ or whatever, and that is my ideal kind of customer.

    "In an essay, I wrote about this blowing my hair back experience, where, I mean, I opened a neighborhood restaurant—I mean genuinely … There was no press release. It was just like, Put the menu up in the window and we were like, Oh God, I hope we’re not dead in a year. And it turned into a destination restaurant and we were just like, Oh Jesus Christ, like somebody get change, there’s got to be money in the drawers. We have to have someone to answer the phones. We had to scramble to keep up … You’re saying that someone has taken that idea and marketed it. That’s so much of what goes on in the world now … Can we just say that the phenomenon of lying is so devastating … It’s still pretentious to pretend to be something that you’re not, and it’s very upsetting. And it’s a chronic experience now … the places that pretend to be farmer-driven. I went to some organic restaurant up the street this past winter, and I was sitting at the bar and I’m like, Oh my God, is that Ocean Spray Cranberry juice? You know, I’m looking down behind the bar, I’m like, That’s Ocean Spray Cranberry juice? Fuck you, organic bar! Fuck you.

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