Hospitable Hospitality:

the industry we love to belong to

To follow is an ode to an industry we truly love and respect. Please excuse us if we wax lyrical.

Certainly, it can’t be denied that for a hospitality business to continue as a business, it must turn a profit. Of course. But certain restaurants, bars, venues within this industry somehow manage to perform the financial function they have, while at the same time elevating to the superlative Some places can simultaneously show you affection and care and true hospitality.

At Sjøørn Spirits, we are completely aligned to the words of one of the world’s greatest chefs. Thomas Keller once wrote: “When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving towards perfection becomes clear: to make people happy. That’s what cooking is all about.” Thomas Keller, The French Laundry

In this industry it is easy to become obsessed to the point of distraction by all of the fancy ingredients of the dishes, the extraordinary varietals of wine, the innovation of new cooking techniques and technology, the creases in the linen and the polishing of the glassware. But all these things serve a single purpose: to give people an experience they won’t forget, to make them happy by taking care of them for a while.

There can be a lot of repetition in the job of running a restaurant or a bar. Mechanical tasks enacted day after day, year after year in order to prepare for the swiftness of service. The ritual of polishing cutlery and plates, lighting candles, pureeing parsnips, turning carrots are all quiet and repetitive actions that can lull one into an almost meditative state, a contrast from the over stimulation of an open restaurant. These tasks form such a large part of the day that to continue to be satisfied the worker needs to enjoy them. Thomas Keller has a lot to say regarding what could seem the more ordinary aspects of our day: “this is the great challenge: to maintain passion for the everyday routine and the endlessly repeated act, to derive deep gratification from the mundane.”

But as he also says, “to give pleasure, you have to take pleasure yourself”.

I am fully convinced that you can taste it when the chef enjoyed kneading the dough for the bread that day, when the winemaker was happy the day he pressed the grapes.

Our job in this industry is actually to make people happy. Whether as a waiter that offers you a glass of sherry to go with your dessert, or a cook who made sure that the seasoning on your steak was perfect, or the winemaker in the vineyard that rose before the sun to check that the frost wasn’t too harsh on his vines, or even the distributor that makes sure the bar manager had his wine delivered in time for service, they all serve the one overall goal. We want you to be happy.

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