Le Mary Celeste won an award today. It was for best bar/restaurant in Paris. Well, at least I think it was for best bar/restaurant. I can’t quite be sure. My French is bad and the award was written in bright pink cursive lettering which confused me. So lets just say for now, tentatively, barring any translator errors, that everybody involved in LMC has the right to shout out, "Yaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!"
It's no secret that LMC's first goal was to win the award for "best brick work in Paris" and we are gutted that we didn't. But we will settle for the award we were given, and are very proud of the fact that in only nine months, our little place has done pretty well for itself. The reception from guests, the press and those within our industry has been at once, frightening, humbling and immensely motivating.
A lot has been said and written about what an amazing job Joshua Fontaine, Carlos Madriz, Carina and Adam Tsou have done to make LMC what it is. These accolades are well-deserved. Niceties have been tossed at the kitchen too. And though I hardly feel deserving, I have been immensely grateful for the reception my food has gotten and have tried to take these compliments with as much gratitude and grace as my lanky, compression sock-wearing, monotone voiced self can muster.
But it was not so long ago I was just a line cook, with not even the faintest idea that this kind of recognition was going to come. And I felt then, as I feel even more strongly now, that nothing that chefs or owners or managers do would be possible without a loyal, happy, hard working staff. We would just be a bunch of unemployed people with “good ideas”.
So this award is a big thank you to those who grind it out under us. To those who work 12-14 hour days and don’t get their names printed in magazines. To those who come to work and rock service even though they’re hungover or sick or they stubbed a toe. And, of course, especially, this for those in the kitchen, who have let me be able to cook the food I love, who are almost never unpleasant to work with, who work extra fast on Thursdays so I can do Jiu Jitsu class in the mornings, who have not only become great co-workers, but friends as well. This is for you.