Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kitchen Accomplished (well almost...)

Always happens, a job to finish just before a big holiday. This time it's client chef Dave Mancini and his kitchen is under construction and it's Thanksgiving. Of course he's cooking. He lives on Woodward Avenue, the route for Macy's big Thanksgiving Day parade and he's having brunch roofside for 20 people or more. It's not like we didn't know he didn't have a kitchen or that he would probably want to cook in it on Thanksgiving. No actually, I stopped production on the big piece, stainless counters, to jam a bunch of projects through for the Pier Show in New York. I think we can do everything! Or, we work well under pressure! Or I just want it all! The scary thing is it's all true and we get a lot done, actually we got it all done. (And now we are really tired). So here's how it all works. I cajole/encourage/beg/bug daily (ok, twice daily): Richard Gage Design Studio to fabricate and install 22' of stainless counter; Royal Oak Plumbing to install a sink, disposal, faucet and dishwasher and carpenter/electrician/all around handy guy Jim Linck to make, finish and install a cabinet. I also have to keep Dave reassured and calm amidst the chaos of having his large kitchen ergo his loft all torn up for weeks. Sometimes the little things mean a lot. Ahead of the big production, I send my crackshot do-anything colleague Amy Nolfo over to do a deep clean and organizing project. Just cleaning and getting stuff put away will make Dave feel better and his hectic life easier and the additional clean up later will be minimal. My plumber Bob Tourtillot is a prince, he had already rigged for Dave a temporary sink as a favor to me, it's a little insurance just in case we have to throw down plywood and call it a kitchen should everything fail. Yes it's busy and I'm stressed about getting it done and pleasing this client. But here's what's easy, here's why I love this job. I am working with clients who appreciate what I do and know I am doing my very best to achieve their goals. I am working with a team of skilled professionals that I have been working with in some cases for nearly 20 years. I believe in maintaining good relationships. These people know I will call them for every new project that comes up. Loyalty pays. You reward honest, good work, you pay the fair wage. You don't nickel and dime people, in the end you lose and save nothing. It comes with experience and time and I learned it the hard way, and I learned it but good. So it's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving now. The counters are done, with extra details and top quality stainless that will stand the test of a serious chef like Dave. The sink, faucet and dishwasher are in, who knows who Bob put off (and let me know about it) but by golly he fit my job in. Jim Linck, is the calmest zen all around skilled guy who has everything ready for the plumbers and will wait for Bob who is running late and has zero time to waste. The best pizza in the city is waiting for me as I bring the key to Dave and I get that bonus I've been waiting all day for, the heartfelt thank you. I also get to be one of those people with a ringside seat for the best parade, at the best brunch, in this city with a big heart, on this day of thanks. Detroit. It has my loyalty.

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