Monday, July 25, 2011

Teppanyaki Learnings

We went for our first teppanyaki experience in India at Shiro, at UB City in Bangalore. Ankit and Ashvin and I were seated at a table hosted by Chef Alvin. Alvin started his intro with something out of Alvin and the chipmunks and had the kids – literally – eating out of his hands in a few minutes. The kids loved everything he made – the veggies, fried rice and chicken in ginger and scallion sauce. Their adulation seemed to have really added fuel to his showmanship desires. He rolled eggs dangerously on the spatula, close to the kids and even bought out a fake egg that made the kids squeal first in fear and then in delight. He sold Shiro to me. He sold teppanyaki and Shiro to the kids. We returned there for Ankit’s birthday dinner and Alvin went out of his way to make him feel special. He had him at the cooking counter, had him dance and juggle eggs. He made Ankit happy and me even happier. The onion volcano at the end had Ashvin hero worshipping him.
Then Alvin went away. We realized that when we made reservations at the restaurant this weekend. There was someone blah enough that I do not remember his name. Blah to me is normal. He cooked the food decently. He did try and cook up eggs separately for the kids cause Ashvin wanted it. But he was not Alvin. He was about the food not the teppanyaki experience. He did not go out of way to make a memory.  If he had been our first chef I am not sure I would have gone back to the teppanyaki table at Shiro again. I am not sure Ankit or Ashvin would have liked that particular “cusine”
Just goes to show what one person can do. Goes to show that a job worth doing is doing well. Value the Alvins you have at work. They are selling your product in ways you don’t know.


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