Imbibing Beethoven

I sit, I read, I write, I listen, I see, I think.

This is the start of my Monday, I enter the doors of Little Red Bistro I sit at a nearby table, I pull out my book[s], I open my notebook, I hear Beethoven, I look at my surroundings and I start to contemplate.

I order tonight special, a medium rare T-bone steaks with a side of a Manhattan that is soon followed by three others. My fingers hit the key’s a rhythmical motion the words come out to the sequence of Beethoven’s notes. I hit the backspace button, it’s crap.

I’ve wanted to go down the path of a cocktail’s creation being as magical as a finely tuned orchestra replaying Beethoven’s long lost art, but I can’t, the connections don’t fit, the imaginations doesn’t work, the writing of a story won’t happen, the brain filled with bourbon and vermouth’s failed to take me off. .

I look for inspiration to continue to write and I find it none other then in the Kitchen. An elderly man, a man who came out of retirement to act as the only chef at Little Red Bistro. What makes a man come out of retirement to work seven days a week to cook for a none-famous establishment that hardly pay’s the amount he is worth? A simple word, a word that has escaped so many young and inspiring profession’s, a word that lead ships to fight a hundred year long war, a word that has imprisoned thousands and killed millions a word that’s spell’s out as “passion“.

Beethoven was a genius without him we wouldn’t have the base that forms much of our music today.  While we read, Jerry Thomas set the bar and showed us how to create a base for bartenders to follow.. Here’s the thing, when orchestras recreate any note of Beethoven they make sure its to perfection, the artists practice for hours a day to be in-sync, if one person is off tune during the play it will taint all the performers and ruin the experience. So as bartenders why don’t we uphold this mentality? If we create a bar and show our customers we are capable of mastering complex drinks, isn’t our duty to make sure everyone who work’s behind our stick can do the same? Only hire the ones who agree to practice for hours a day, the ones who will fine tune their Manhattans and make sure every note is lined up and playing your taste buds like a complex note rolling off of Beethoven’s fingers.

Let’s go back to Michelle [The elderly man in the kitchen] tonight is his nigh off, but he is still here. It’s T-bone special night, food that is fairly simple to create, and yet he is still here slaving away. Is it because the owner asked him to come in? [no] is it because none other then Michelle knows the recipe? [no] Maybe his wife was yelling at him for drinking to much vermouth on the rocks while smoking his tightly rolled cigarette aptly named “French Cigar”?[no] In fact his wife was with him, volunteering to help out the Bistro on a busy night. So once again we find our self asking why he is here… Simply put because he likes it, because his passion is in the kitchen, because he knows anyone can recreate his recipe but not everyone can put the passion to make it perfect like he does, and that is why he inspires me. A elderly retired man in his 70’s that I have never said a word to has single-handedly inspired me to become a better person, to care more about my career and passion, to focus on one thing and make it so damn good that no matter who recreates it, it will never be the same unless they to have passion.

So I find myself ranting and raving making connections that I have no idea where they lead, it’s just my mind trying to make sense of situations that just don’t want to make sense. Some people say my thinking and writing is over the top, and I agree with them, I make stupid accusations as to trashing out poor bartenders are like fighting the revolutionary war, I claim bartenders to be artists in their own demented misfit ways, and finally I am comparing Jerry Thomas to Beethoven. Am I over the top[?] hell yes I am. But that’s what we need, nut case ranters paying attention to details while those blessed with normality mind frames don’t..

I will gladly sit here and type away while listening to Beethoven, smelling my T-Bone steak and sipping my properly made Manhattan. And I wouldn’t have it any other way…

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