by Sophie Gayot
Most times I dine at a restaurant, no matter where, I pop into the kitchen at the end of the meal. I do it to say hello, to get a tour, to shoot a video, to compliment the chef, or, on the contrary, tell him or her what did not work. Even if I didn’t enjoy the experience, there is always one thing I do: I have to acknowledge the very hard work that the kitchen team puts together trying to please our palates. They work under lots of pressure, standing up during the entire service, in a noisy environment (due to the air extraction devices), most of the time in artificial light with no fresh air, and under intense heat from the stoves.
A few weeks ago, I was at Michael Mina’s new Las Vegas restaurant American Fish at Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter. From the dining room, one can view the kitchen behind a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. I was intrigued by what I was seeing: there were wheels right behind the window. With a closer look, I discovered that they were part of the rotisserie mechanism that ensures proper cooking temperature. But I had to see it from even closer, so I entered the kitchen. I literally thought that my dress was going to melt from the heat surrounding the California apricot wood fired pits. After two minutes spent shooting the video with chef Sven Mede (that you can view above), I had to go back to, what I feel was a safer environment.
Once again, I want to salute the men and women in the kitchen who everyday spend hours ensuring that we don’t leave hungry. Trust me, it is such a difficult job, that you can do it only if you are passionate about it.
You can click on each photo to enlarge to see dishes from American Fish menu. All photos by Sophie Gayot.