While living in Ireland in 1998, Catherine was surprised to find herself one summer working as a waitress in a little café in the popular destination town of Kinvara. Nestled in a crook of Galway Bay in the West of Ireland, Kinvara is a place of megalithic tombs, holy wells, a 14th century castle, ancient cairns, Irish music, and weekly set-dancing. Out of her experience, Catherine wrote the book “God is in Rosaleen’s Restaurant.” This blog comes from her book.
Artwork by Roseleen Tanham, http://kava.ie/rosaleen-tanham/
“How do you like your steak?” I’d ask.
As a vegetarian for more than twenty years, I found this question ludicrous. I like my steak on the cow where it belongs. Most people like theirs well-done.
Every job always has something that’s hard to swallow.
Back home in the US waitresses fear chefs. There is a tension between them that literally can become palatable. I remember a friend telling me how she dreaded returning anything to the kitchen, especially after the chef threw a potato at her.
At Rosaleen’s Restaurant, however, comradeship existed between us. Any tensions disappeared as we focused together in the preparation of steak, lamb, fish, and vegetable. At times, three of us fluttered around a single serving: the chef, pouring sauce and garnishing the plate, her assistant placing doilies on dishes and slicing bread, and me waiting to whisk the plate to the customer so to deliver the meal hot.
This shared longing to serve our best was perhaps what the customer tasted most.