Speaking of the economy, the NY Post ran an article called 'Unhappy Meal', about how executives downtown are downsizing their lunch budgets by eating fast food instead of something more elegant. A lot of classy news outlets picked up a story about a Latina former Hooters girl who is suing Hawaiian Tropic Zone because she claims they wouldn't hire her because she sounded too 'ghetto'. I quote,
"It was kind of like my dream to work at the [Hawaiian Tropic Zone]," she said. "It's the bikini, I guess."Denied the dream of serving hung beef and chicken pops in a bikini? Surely, sueing for a million dollars is aiming too low!
The restaurant is spread across three floors and 16,000 square feet. It features a two-story waterfall, a setting that "tantalizes the senses" and menu items such as hung barbecue ribs and crispy chicken lollipops.
Finally, Richard closed with a tidbit from Fox News, in which 7 Japanese diners are sent to the hospital for eating grilled testicles of a fugu, the famous poisonous blow fish. If you're going to put POISONOUS FISH TESTICLES IN YO MOUF, you had it comin'. Uh, no pun intended.
The next part of the class was dedicated to correcting the menu Richard handed out, revising it on all levels, from design and arrangement to the parts of the descriptions and spelling and grammar.
The majority of the class was dedicated to 'communications', more specifically, communicating yourself to others in a direct way. This took the form of public speaking. We were given a couple of minutes to jot notes, a couple of minutes to practice and give feed back to two others, then each one of us got up in front of the class and discussed our favorite foods - what, why and how we make them.
Some of the students, particularly the younger ones, were remarkably poorly spoken, clearly uncomfortable speaking in front of a group, and more to the point, selling themselves -- if we're going to sell a biz, we got to sell ourselves. A few liked foods they never even considered making themselves, like beef jerky or waffles (!) One was vague but passionate about all food Italian, a few named foods that were favorite only when their mother made them.
I was feeling ill (and as it turns out, after class I would call in to work ill and stay at home for 3 days recovering), but I got up there and started with a joke. "As you may of already guessed, my favorite food is also waffles." (Everyone knows I'm pizza-focused, got a good laugh, oh, you just had to be there) I warned them that I'd try to keep this quick, as I could babble all day. I started with, "Pizza is my favorite food for the sole reason that my mother was a horrendous cook." That got a 2nd laugh, no faces were turned away from me. I had them. I spoke of how ordering pizza from the shops of Italian-dominated Staten Island were wonderful reprieves from my mom's puke chicken and leather omelets. How making them evolved over my life from heating up Stouffer's French Bread pizzas to buying pre-made dough. And then I went into a little detail about retarding dough, making raw sauce and floating pools of buffala moz on a limpid red pool. I paused, and fielded more than a handful of enthusiastic questions. It was really cool. I sold it! (My enthusiasms, that is. If I was trying to extract money from their pockets, who knows.) And I'm happy to say that 3 other student in this group of 20 named pizza as their favorite food, though that had nothing to do with me.
The class ended with a photocopy of LI Robert DeNiro's restaurant's menu, a pizzeria restaurant. The exercise is to take this large menu, chop it up and rearrange it so it flows better. To be continued on Wednesday, as there is no class on Monday. Peace out, peeps!