When we think of “comfort food,” why is it that we typically conjure up memories of home? Are you thinking of Grandma’s special peach cobbler, or Mom’s Sunday pot roast? It’s not so much that our moms or grandmothers are truly the best chefs in the world (although this is a popular claim), but I have my own theory. Stay with me on this one.
In my profession, it’s normal for me to be on the road 4 out of 7 days a week, therefore I tend to eat out very often. Sure, I have discerning taste but surprisingly, the flavor of a dish served to me at a restaurant is only a portion of what makes me a happy customer in the end.
Think of it like this. My mom’s three cheese lasagna may not taste authentically Sicilian, but everything in her preparation was deliberate, considerate and thoughtful – her main goal was to ensure that when dinner came, I would be served a hot and satisfying meal, ready for me before I even heard my stomach growl. Naturally then, if I ordered my favorite pan seared halibut, what am I going to expect?
For one, it should arrive to me in a timely manner (prompt and courteous service, no less). Secondly, I’m eating my dinner so it’s got to be hot. Have you ever enjoyed a lukewarm or even cold clam chowder? I didn’t think so. And amazingly, of the scores of meals I eat on the road, many restaurants cannot maintain the most basic conventions that mothers across the globe understand, namely, serving food at the right temperature! It’s a no-brainer that still befuddles many establishments.
I truly believe a restaurant’s success lies in giving attention to the details that truly matter in an eater’s experience. Take it from mom and let’s go back to basics, because let’s face it: some like it hot.