The other day I had the absolute pleasure of hosting two of the most qualified food critics imaginable. Before they arrived, I had customized an extensive designer menu for their friend’s event. I was informed they were going to be there and even provided a copy of each of their bios beforehand so I was familiar with their level of expertise. Instead of feeling nervous and intimidated I was thrilled and excited. What an amazing opportunity to learn from qualified critics how to adjust my flavors or presentation.
They walk in, I meet them and the couple who are my actual clients. No big show! No big ego! Just two very nice looking normal people. I proceed in my usual manner, introducing myself as the culinary designer and inviting them to give feedback. In walking them through the process I say, out loud, “we are here to design your menu, you are not hurting my feelings if you do not like something. I place many more tastes on a menu than you are able to choose, so some must be eliminated.”
So, the conversation and food start rolling out. I’m really getting to know the couple, who are fantastic and I don’t exactly notice that my two food experts aren’t talking much. We eat and eat, we decide the likes and dislikes. Once the meal is mostly over, I turn to the others to get their stories. More than anything I love people’s stories and these two are fascinating! We talk and talk and the menu is planned. Then I notice, not even one criticism from my guests. Not one! They didn’t even complain or comment about how much food was served.
After we ended the fabulous meal, I escorted the woman down in the elevator at which time she shared how much the man enjoyed the meal. He speaks and critiques through his looks to her, not words. Incredible! The whole time, I was being reviewed and didn’t know it. Maybe that’s most natural. Let the food have its own voice, not the person presenting it! I like that, it has real value. Thank you, I really, really learned from them.