Ever since my mother has steered her passion for photography towards food photography, everybody including our social circle and urban restaurateurs are smitten over her ‘visual treats’; (taken from her Facebook fan page titled Farah’s Visual Treats). At the beginning I would only savor the cheerful stories of the experience she and her photography buddy would have; and sometimes the food as well! But when I saw her mouth watering pictures of Olivetto, a European and Mediterranean style eatery I showed interest in accompanying her to a shoot particularly for their delicious burgers. And there I saw beyond the color, texture and taste of their food; the actual artists behind the scrumptious delights, only to appreciate more than just the pictures and food.
It was my first time to see the kitchen of a running restaurant and I’m glad it was Olivetto, undoubtedly because of its passion, teamwork and organization. It was a spacious work place, intelligently designed to give sufficient area for each process. However, would have gone wasted if not for the skilled team. In the 30 minutes roughly that I spent there, a variety of dishes from salads, burgers, pastas to French toasts and cakes were prepared and presented in the most excellent of manner. Not just the speed was commendable but the passion they poured into every morsel of food was just the right thing one needed to love the food even more. We stood at the final station where their head chef was effortlessly playing with the food to give it a new look each time. But you might be thinking why the head chef was at the last station and not at the cooking station so to tell you this is another reason for the success of the team; the leader empowering his team rather than taking control. We could see him running around and taking the lead where necessary but his actual efforts were prominent from the confidence and work of his colleagues.
Another thing I noticed was job rotation. No one person was doing the same thing for more than 3-4 times be it the one cooking, chopping or plating. This not only reveals the secret to the never ending energy but also the all-roundedness of every member. And everyone performed each task with the same enthusiasm which made the results all the more perfect. This way the assembly line was really motivating or I would say inspiring! You might be picturing a really messed up kitchen after reading that no one person stuck to one task but the amazing thing is that the strong organization of the kitchen never let any task go out of the hands. And yes, this does call for applause to the head and the way the kitchen is designed
All in all, this visit left me thinking that the real artists behind the food are these people and we should all take a moment to laud their efforts when we enjoy delectable meals at any eatery or adore their pictures. It is prevalent in Pakistan, unlike other parts of the world to see customers only contacting the restaurant managers and chef when they are unhappy with the food but always keep the good words to the table. Whereas we should praise them with open hearts and generous words to encourage them as their job is all of customer satisfaction. So the next time a taste touches your heart you tell the team or send a message saying how good a job they did with the food!