News, News, News

I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

And last week, our internet connection was down, down, down.

So, I could not post, post, post.

But then the internet came back on, and we had the busiest weekend at Salaam of the past several months, so I was tired, tired, tired. (Tired, but smiling–I live for crazy-busy nights. It’s the best feeling–riding the wave, getting the food out, moving, my brain and hands moving at a blur. It’s a great adrenaline rush.)

But I have news, news news.

Yes.

It is official–Hilarie and Mark, the owners of Restaurant Salaam, signed a lease on a new building, and work has begun on renovating the space to turn it into our new home. Yes, Salaam is moving, into a building which has never housed a restaurant, so we are constructing the kitchen from the ground up, to our specifications.

So, I can use what I know about how food, bus tubs, servers, cooks and everyone else should flow in and out of a kitchen to full advantage by helping Hil design the whole area. It will be quite a showpiece, very exciting, and our cooking capabilities will increase exponentially. I am not joking.

And all I wanted was a proper stove–you guys don’t understand–Hilarie and I and the rest of the cooks have been putting out tons of food from a kitchen that has no stove.

We cook on a two burner hot plate.

Now, we will have all sorts of equipment to cook on, not just a stove, but a grill, ovens, a wok burner–maybe even a chef’s table.

Pretty soon we will begin on menu development, and I’ll need to start thinking of recipes for specials, and training our cooks to use the new equipment.

This is so exciting!

I promise to post pictures, updates and news as the project progresses, and when we have our grand re-opening, I promise to put digital cameras into several folks’ hands so I can share the flavor of the event with everyone right here.

So that is why I haven’t posted as much–there has been a lot going on.

(In addition, Kat is walking all the time, and I finished another quilt–I’ll post pictures later, and am now quilting another one–pictures of that one this weekend!)

12 Comments

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  1. Congratulations and good luck on the upgrade! I know going from 2 1 burner hot plates to a real stove with an oven was a major improvement for us, and we’re only half cooked food!

    Making 5 gallons of soup on a hot plate took ridiculous amounts of time!

    Comment by starrrie — July 25, 2008 #

  2. It is wonderful and exciting to see your skills and Talents being put to great use!

    Comment by Tessa — July 25, 2008 #

  3. Awesome!

    Glad to hear that the restaurant is moving forward. Hope to see pictures of the design and process.

    Good luck.

    -Tomcat

    Comment by Tomcat — July 25, 2008 #

  4. Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe what you’ve been able to do with practically nothing. Designing your own kitchen must be so much fun!

    Comment by Christy — July 25, 2008 #

  5. Congratulations!

    And how exciting and fulfilling for you and the restaurant. I’ll be looking forward to reading the updates.

    It’s amazing what a great chief can do with just a little.

    Comment by wwjudith — July 25, 2008 #

  6. Further evidence that it’s not the tools that make a gifted cook. :-)

    Comment by Lexica — July 25, 2008 #

  7. I’m terribly nosy, but I’m dying to learn where you guys will end up! Will you still be Uptown?

    Comment by Tammy — July 25, 2008 #

  8. Thank you, everyone!

    Tomcat, when we have our big grand opening, I expect you to come in and eat some fabulous food, hear great music and watch great dancers.

    Lexica–the tools do not matter. Hilarie and I have stretched the boundaries of what we can do with essentially nothing. Our current kitchen is 10′X13′ and packed with stuff. When we have a big night, our kitchen staff consists of a dishwasher, two line cooks and myself as expediter and often as a saute cook. All of us fit into that tiny space, along with three to four dinner specials, regular menu items, a salad and cold appetizer station, a small convection oven, the hotplate, a dishwashing machine a freezer and two lowboy refrigerators.

    There isn’t much room to spare, really, and once orders start coming up and servers start coming it, it gets really claustrophobic.

    But that is okay. Soon, we will have room to breathe and equipment to work with. (And, the kitchen will have windows! We won’t be underground anymore in a cavern! Sunlight! Woohoo!)

    Tammy, we are going to be on Washington Street, uptown, up the hill from Donkey Coffee on the same side of the street. Just up from the Courthouse–half a block from Court Street. The last place to inhabit the building was a photography studio.

    Go down and stick your face in the window–it hasn’t been covered up while work is done. Walls have been knocked out and there is evidence of other sorts of work in progress.

    Comment by Barbara — July 25, 2008 #

  9. Wow, that’s amazing news, congratulations! We’ve got family in Columbus — if your grand opening is at a reasonably convenient time of year for cross-country travel, we’d love to be there!

    Comment by Kristi — July 25, 2008 #

  10. Nothing is more exciting than a blank canvas. I can’t wait for the updates. I am going to HAVE to visit once the work is done.

    Comment by artcargirl — July 25, 2008 #

  11. Huzzah! What a cool space!

    Comment by Tammy — July 29, 2008 #

  12. Hey, you know I’ll be there. But, I don’t know if I’ll be shooting still pictures, video, or playing drums….GAH!!!

    Comment by Dan — July 29, 2008 #

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