Not Quite a Food Revolution but a Step in the Right Direction

May 2, 2010

This is an event I am especially proud to announce and promote.  Queen Victoria Public School’s Parent Council is holding the first, of many more, hot school lunch days.  On Tuesday May 4 senior students will be preparing 2 types of soups for the rest of the school to purchase for their lunch.  This program acts as a fund raiser for the Parent Council but reaches far beyond that in promoting the new food guidelines set out by the Provincial Government as well as teaching the students where their food comes from.  The program was made possible by working in partnership with private sponsors.  We at the Black Kettle Bistro along with the Essex County Associated Growers are contributing our time and products for the program.  All produce used is grown locally and helps promote the Buy Local movement. Once we have worked out all the kinks we hope to grow the program to eventually have regular scheduled hot lunch days in our school; all prepared from local ingredients and by our very own students.  This program has been in the works for awhile and we hope to expand it more in the coming school year.

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Ressurecting the old notion of Family Restaurant

February 9, 2009

Its been sometime since Charlie, my youngest son (4) has been operating a restaurant out of his toy kitchen in our apartment.  It’s a small place, no employees.  He cooks, serves and does all the promo himself.  There have been times where i bust out laughing because of the exchanges we have as he pretends to run his restaurant.  For example…..he approaches me and asks what i want to eat.  I ask for a menu.  He says his restaurant doesn’t have any.  He then lists the four or five things that he does have.  If you ask for anything special he just scoffs and walks away.  The beginnings of a fine chef.  Both of our kids have a great interest in the restaurant seeing as they often come with me to work and hang out with staff in between babysitters or when we just don’t have any babysitters.  Bring your kids to work days are many for me.

This weekend was especially busy so i had many things to prep before Monday morning.  I’ve been baking all our bread fresh at BKB so the amount of prep some days can be daunting.  Sundays are my only day off and that often means i just have to go in for a few hours instead of all day.  On this particular Sunday Anastasia offered to come help and we decided to bring the kids.  When i brought the idea up to them they lit up. Funny but i can see why that would be exciting for them.  Charlie especially was very serious when we discussed how he can learn how to do all the things that it took to run a restaurant not just the cooking.  We drove down to the restaurant and immediately got to work.  I started prepping the dough and Anastasia was in charge of the crew to clean the dining area.  Dave, my partner, had just finished doing some repairs and must have thought it was a weird way to spend a day off with the family.  The kids were unbelievable.  Charlie (4) and Jack (6) cleaned the entire dining area.  They swept, wiped tables, wiped seats, vacuumed, and wiped down all the legs of the chairs.  Even I thought it would turn disastrous after a while and just lead to the boys running around playing Star Wars.  It didn’t.  They were very focused.  I was shocked to see how serious and excited they were doing it.  It was fun.  For everyone.  I’ve decided to make this a regular occurrence and give them an allowance for it.  Aside from it being cheap labour for me, it teaches them a good work ethic, the notion of working for your money and it also give them a true insight on what mommy and daddy do all day when they’re at work.  Being self employed in the hospitality business has its ups and downs but it has does have a unique sense of teamwork and bringing people together.  I so look forward to the day that the boys will want to come work with me when they’re older.  The old school idea of passing things on from generation to generation is not dead.  I love the idea of having a modern day version of the family restaurant.  Maybe one day you will be lucky enough to eat at “Charlie’s Famous Food” restaurant.  Apparently he makes the best frittattas in town.