Al Gore did not invent the internet. I am glad because I kinda like the dude. He would be as upset with the amount of hate on the internet as he is with some of my light bulb choices. One of the unfortunate results of the immediate access to breaking news is the immediate ability to tell someone how you feel about it. Whether they care or not.
When Chef Levin mentioned on twitter that he was going to do a Four Loko dinner I was immediately interested. I wanted in. I did not know at the time that he was joking. I had never had the displeasure of consuming Four Loko. I wasn't the slightest bit interested. When Four Loko caught national attention I was not surprised. Every few years liquor companies create a new way to sell malt liquor to areas outside of urban communities. I can still clearly recall suburbia's fascination with ZIMA. "It taste like Sprite"
The recent hysteria and moves to ban the beverage really did nothing to peak my interest. It only became appealing because a local chef decided to do something with it. I was not drawn by the lure of the now forbidden elixir nor solely for the quality of food coming from Adsum's kitchen. I was drawn because of a smile. Chef Matt Levin was having fun.
I work in the restaurant business. I know all to well the lifestyle, the stress, the hours and the feeling of being under appreciated. I have often felt the sensation in your hamstrings, calves and shins after a 14 plus hour day. I know the 'hangover' feeling the day after such a shift whether or not you have enjoyed some well deserved cocktails. I do not have to entirely imagine the exhaustion felt after spending months without a day off during an opening. I have worked through 7 restaurant openings. I am familiar with what happens after the major reviews come out and you are back to working and praying for a light at the end of the tunnel.
I always try to tell my nephews to find work you can make a living off of, but also be sure to find something you love. There are many moments during a restaurant's hours of operation that are grueling. There are times of intense stress. One of the reasons most of us do it however is because of the moments of joy. The hilarious line cook you work with who always says funny and most times inappropriate things. The server who always brings in chocolate for everyone. The bartender who gets drunk and can't remember his behavior the following day. One of the greatest moments is when someone in the restaurant business is doing something that you know they are enjoying as much as you. Hats off to the Sixpoint pop-ups, The Han Dynasty tastings and the Four Loko dinners.
To those who feel the need to believe such a dinner is below a chef of Matt Levin's caliber please do me and your friends who are to afraid to challenge you a favor. GET OVER YOURSELVES. What ever happened to fun? A chef in this business has one responsibility; to put out good food. Someone who works as many hours as a chef can do what he wants. If Matt Levin wants to host a Mad Dog 20/20 dinner, I say go for it. I would only ask for partial credit since I wrote it here first. A cut of the money is unnecessary. Just buy me a beer. Schwarzbier preferred since I did not get one for Black History Month. I had an excellent meal. It was an unbelievable value. I left with a smile and a buzz. Mission Accomplished Chef.
Long winded opinion over.
The Skinny Fat Kid