Show Me the Way

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY

 

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Here’s a Wow! experience-simple and easy to execute with multiple opportunities to practice it on a daily basis. This will make a lasting impression on your dining guests.

Scene:

Guest: Excuse me, sir, where is the lady’s room?

Server: Go down the hallway, take a left, when you see the kitchen, go around the corner and take two steps down.  If you see the elevator, then you’ve gone too far.  Back track about 15 feet and take a right. You can’t miss it.  But if you get lost, just come back and I’ll explain it to you again.

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Does that sound familiar? At so many restaurants that seems to be the norm. And I imagine that most people don’t think twice about it.  But really, there’s not a whole lot of service involved there.

 

Okay, here’s a simple ‘Wow!’ idea taught to me by Mandy, who was the GM of   J. Bucks in St. Louis, when I worked there.  What do they do that is so amazing? Well, for starters, they never tell people where the restrooms are located.  And I mean never.  “What?!” you say, “That’s not very courteous or nice or good service.”   They also don’t ever even direct guests to the restroom.  Instead, they simply SHOW them.   That’s right.  They take the time and they walk their guests to the restroom.  They show them and then there is no getting lost.  There’s no mistaking- did she say left or right at the end of the long hallway?  Maybe it’s because St. Louis is in Missouri which is known as the ’Show Me’ state. I’m not sure.  Certainly not all restaurants in Missouri do this. Maybe it’s actually because the people at J. Buck’s in St. Louis know how much of an impact something seemingly so insignificant can actually have upon their guests.

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If a guest happens to ask a bartender behind the bar who is very busy or a server who has a tray of food in their hand, and if that staff member is not able at that moment,  to actually walk the guest, then they will say to the guest, “Just a moment, please, Ma’am.”  Then they will request a nearby colleague to escort the guest to the restroom.  Yes it may seem like a very small thing but the impression is lasting.  Think about it.  If the people at an establishment think that something  seemingly so insignificant as showing where the restroom is is important, it’s more than likely that they take pride in other seemingly small things as well. Like the cleanliness of said restroom.

 

So, next time your guest asks you where the restroom is, take the few extra seconds and walk them to where it is located.  Or at least close enough that you can then stretch out your hand and say- “right there, sir, ma’am, up that step.”

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Yes, it’s simple.  It’s just walking them to the restroom.  Yes, it will take a few seconds of your time but I guarantee it will definitely make a lasting positive impression on them.   I’m also willing to bet you that more than a couple of them will comment either to their companions or to you how impressed they are.  And their comment will be “Wow, now that is service.” Imagine if they haven’t even begun their dining experience yet but you have just set the tone of, helpfulness, courtesy and friendliness.  They already have a good first impression of you and your establishment.  (Hopefully, said bathroom IS tidy, clean, neat and smelling fresh)

 

They say going the extra mile is important in establishing rapport with a customer and in showing that you care. Well, I say, how about just going the extra 50 feet?

I rest my case.

 

Thank you for enjoying this serving of Soupfly.  This post and the last one on Paying Attention to Detials– are actually chapters from my upcoming Best Seller-GETTING TO WOW! First Class Restaurant Service.  Soon, we will be taking advanced pre-sale orders of the book at a special early bird pricing.

I appreciate your support.  Please continue to LIKE, SHARE AND INVITE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME ON YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA.  ALSO, PLEASE HIT THE FOLLOW BUTTON SO YOU CAN RECEIVE AN EMAIL EACH TIME A NEW SOUPFLY POST IS PUBLISHED.

Thank you and Cheers!!

Christoff J. Weihman

ChristoffJWeihman.com

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Paying Attntion to Detales

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY

 

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Details, Details, Details…………..

 

A faint lipstick stain on a wine glass,

A few bread crumbs on the seat of the booth,

A sauce stained menu,

My steak cooked just a little too overdone,

The wrong dressing on my salad- in fact I said “no dressing”

A small stain on the white linen table cloth,

A sticky bar,

A table set with all the settings misaligned,

The flatware water-spotted, and chunked with food particles,

Which of the above would you deem to be a more grievous error?

 

A few crumbs on the seat of the booth where you’re about to be seated?

Come on-just brush them off.  Okay-easy enough.

A faint lipstick stain on your wine glass?  Again, very simple- just kindly ask your server/bartender for a clean one.  I’m sure he’ll gladly bring you one.

Okay, you’re right. That’s not hard to do either.

A sauce stained menu? Give me a break-as before-just  ask for a new one.  No harm, no foul.

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How about this:

You sit down at a bar anticipating a nice refreshing drink and a  few relaxing moments.  You place your elbows on the beautiful marble bar and …ugh!  It is so sticky and nasty.  Yuck!  Now you’ve got sticky elbows.

Oh, come on now, all you have to do is ask the bartender to wipe it down for you and then go in the bathroom and wash the stickiness off your elbows.  So you do and he does.  Life goes on.  Really, it’s not that big of a deal.  Granted.  It’s not.

But think about it-as I’ve mentioned here before most of the shows on tv like Bar Rescue and Restaurant Impossible usually feature establishments that have problems with not having standards for service, for cleanliness and proper ways of doing things.  They didn’t get that way overnight.  Rather, it was the compounded effect of small, seemingly insignificant details that were overlooked.

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Maybe each of the above little details that were overlooked is not that big of a deal. That is, if only one of them was overlooked.  But what happens when there is just a general, overall no attention to detail attitude in the whole establishment?  Dinner at such a place might go something like this:

You take your fiance and your future in-laws out for dinner at a place that you’ve heard had great reviews.  When you arrive, you notice that the specials written on the board in the front of the restaurant has the word tilapia misspelled on it.   It reads Tillapya.  “That’s odd”-you think to yourself.   As you pull the chair out for your mother-in-law-to-be, you notice a few bread crumbs on the chair.  She doesn’t notice-so you just quickly brush them away.

You’ve all been seated, the table is beautifully set, at least at first glance.  But then you notice- a brown spot about the size of a quarter on the table cloth. Dried marinara, you think to yourself.   Your guests are all involved in animated conversation and none of them seems to notice.  So, you just casually, slyly, push your b & b plate over to cover the spot.  Luckily – it happened to be right in front of your setting.  There, done. No one did and no one will notice.

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Next, you sit back and take in the elegant surroundings-beautiful chandeliers, nice art on the walls.  Then your focus comes back on your table- and now, what you thought was a very beautifully set table-is, actually upon closer inspection, not really that impressive in the least. The flatware is stained with water spots.  Your fiance’s place setting has only one fork whereas all the others have two.  Of the four bread and butter plates-three match but the fourth one is not only a different size but a different shade of bone as well.    To top it all off, the silverware isn’t even really nicely arranged on the table but looks like it was just haphazardly thrown there.

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You want to focus on the conversation at the table and get your mind off all those details.  After all, they really don’t matter much anyway, do they?  Heck, there’s been a whole book written on exactly that.  Don’t sweat it, we’re told.  Well, you can be sure that whoever set this table certainly didn’t.

 

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Your fiance passes you  the wine list and asks you to choose some wine for the table.  You decide to start with a white and move to a red with the entrees.  You open the wine list and it has stains on the pages. The waiter comes, you order your wine and mention to him about the stained wine list.   His response is a half-hearted, ”Well, a lot of people touch the menus”.

In a few minutes he returns with the wine you ordered.  He really doesn’t do much of a presentation.  Rather he just mumbles “sauvignon blanc”.   You’re unimpressed.  He pours a taste for you but  keeps the cork  rather than presenting it to you.  You make no fuss about the cork.  The last thing you need is for one of  your new in-laws-to-be to to make a remark about you being a wine snob.  You nod that the bottle is good and motion for him to pour for the other guests.  He begins in a clockwise direction.  This is good.  But then you see that he proceeds to  your father-in-law next before the ladies at the table.  And the final, not so great detail that was missed-your mother-in-law now discovers a nice big-albeit faint, lipstick stain on her wine glass after her glass was poured!  She doesn’t tell the waiter because she doesn’t want to “cause a scene” and decides she’ll just drink from the other side of the glass.

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The food has not even come out yet but in your mind the dinner is already ruined

Oh come on, now-aren’t you overreacting just a little?  Even if it is just in your mind?  Really? Do all those little details really matter?  Haven’t you ever heard of the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?  Seriously.  Do they really matter?  And if they don’t, then what does matter?  Just the quality of the food?  What if the chef doesn’t care about details either.  The correct amount of seasoning.   The right time  and temperature to cook your steak.  Who care if it’s a little over done, under done.  Do details really matter?

As long as the server has a good attitude and a pleasant demeanor-aren’t all those other things forgiveable?  Even forgettable?

I do not believe so.  A nice personality is just that-nice.  And I do expect a nice personality from my server.  However, that does in no way equal good or great service.  And it certainly does not cover over all those missed details-faults.   Somebody really dropped the ball here.

It is the server’s responsibility (whoever is assigned to the tables in that section) to ensure that everything on that table is in order, clean, neat, polished, wiped and set in a correct manner.  No ands, ifs or buts about it.  No questions, no excuses. Period.  Over and out.

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The same goes for the bartender.  It is his or her responsibility to ensure that those glasses-especially the wine glasses, sparkle and shine-all the time, everytime.  Yes, sometimes the dishwashing machine doesn’t get the lipstick stains out.  Just because a glass runs through the machine does not mean that it’s automatically clean.  If you’re the bartender and you’re racking those glasses you better make sure they’re clean and sparkling.  You may say well it’s the busboy or the server assistant that racks the glasses.  So what?  Whomever is filling those glasses with wine and sending them out to the table better make sure they’re clean.  If every glass was inspected and polished prior to being racked or placed on a table in front of a guest there would be no question.  This often is not the case, and therefore guests, I, myself must examine the stemware in front of them before the wine is poured.

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You may think I’m a little harsh in my thinking.  Too exacting.  A little overboard.  I’m not saying there is no room for mistakes for we all make mistakes.  We all may miss something once in a while.  We all overlook things but that should be the rare exception not the norm.  Somewhere the bar must be raised and a standard must be set.  Take pride in what you do.   If you are setting a table and preparing for service, I don’t care what kind of restaurant you’re working in-be aware.  I challenge you to  do things in an excellent manner.  If this is not your normal practice.  Start doing it.  I promise you not only will you feel better about yourself, you may come to enjoy your job as a server and your guests will notice.  Just because no one complains to you that doesn’t mean that they don’t notice.  It also doesn’t mean that they aren’t telling someone else about the lack of attention to detail at your establishment.

 

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I have both dined at and worked at some supposedly-so-called great restaurants where the food was exceptional, the ambience was wonderful but there was no standard set for service, cleanliness and order.  Everybody just kind of does their own thing.  Some tables are beautifully set, everything in order, cutlery and glasses shining and others are just set willy-nilly.  No order, no pattern.  NO ATTENTION TO DETAIL.  Some servers are great at their job and others-well, it doesn’t matter because management has set no standards to follow.  As I’ve said before IT ALL STARTS AT THE TOP.

I’ve heard many servers say- ‘Who notices these things anyway?’  Once someone is seated they mess up their table, move the silverware around etc.  So why does it really matter?

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One of my favorite books is called the The Slight EDGE-Secret to a Successful Life by Jeff Olson.  It is an amazing book but rather than me just explaining, please allow me to share a couple passages from it:  :

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“The difference between success and failure is not dramatic.  In fact, the difference between success and failure is so subtle, most people miss it.  The truth is, what you do matters.  What you do today matters.  What you do everyday matters. “

“A simple, positive action.  A simple error in judgment.  Either way, it’s the Slight Edge at work-working for you or working against you.  Invisible results.”

“I’ts the same with your health, your diet, your exercise, your financial habits, your knowledge, your  relationships, your marriage.  With anything and everything.  With your life.”  

“Those little things that will make you successful in life, that will secure your health, your happiness, your fulfillment, your dreams, are simple, subtle, tiny things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud, nobody will even notice.  They are those things that, at the time you do them, often feel like they make absolutely no difference…like they don’t matter.”  

“THEY DO.”

 

thank you for reading another serving of SOUPFLY. 

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I truly want to thank all of you who are READING, SHARING, FOLLOWING SOUPFLY.  As of today, we have well over 800 blog hits.  We have readers from 10 countries-USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, The Philippines, Serbia, Switzerland and Russia!!  I don’t even know who many of my readers in theses other countries are.  So, I invite you to please introduce yourself, connect with me and comment.  Of course, that goes as well for all of my wonderful readers in the United States.  Please connect with me.

Cheers and Thank you!

 

 

Christoff J. Weihman

Aspire Enterprises

ChristoffJWeihman.com

Las Vegas, NV

 

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters He Played-part 2

Welcome Back to Soupfly

The outpouring of sentiments and tributes for Robin Williams has been continuous on all forms of  media including  Social Media the past few days.  Here is my contribution with the continuation of other Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters He Played.

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It seems to me that there were some common themes in many of Robin Williams’ movies.  Themes of  Love and Sacrifice, Non-conformity and Championing the cause of the little guy.  He also played the role of a doctor of one type or another in at least 5 films that I’m aware of: Dead Again, Awakenings, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come.  His films brought comfort, emotional healing and happiness to many.

 

LESSON 6- JOY AND LAUGHTER ARE MEDICINE and THEY’RE CONTAGIOUS  (Patch Adams)

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Based on the real life story of Dr. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams, in this movie Williams’ character uses unconventional methods of treatment to bring joy and laughter to the children in the cancer ward.  His style of care and apparent disdain for the established medical school’s norms put him at odds with the administration but makes him a hero to the suffering children.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose.  You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win no matter what the outcome.” Robin Williams as  Patch Adams

Patch Adams used laughter therapy right alongside conventional medicine to treat his patients.  He also founded the Gesundheit Institute-Where would you rather go if you were sick-St. Something Memorial Hospital (the word ‘memorial’ in it it doesn’t sound like there’ll be a very promising outcome) or the Gesundheit Institute?  Gesundheit actually means “good health”.

Patch Adams is such a heartfelt uplifting movie.  It inspires hope.  It shows the power that bringing joy and laughter into someone’s life actually has.  It’s a power that can lift the human spirit and can aid in the healing process.  People who are joyful seem to be more healthy.  If you’ve never seen the movie Patch Adams-do yourself a favor and see it.  Like many of Robin Williams’ movies it’ll make you laugh and cry but you’ll be glad you did.

 

LESSON 7-  FAMILY  FIRST  (Mrs. Doubtfire)

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I’m sure we’ve all seen this movie.  It’s a classic.  Robin plays Daniel Hillard who, after a painful divorce and losing custody of his 2 children,  proves that he is willing to do everything and anything in order to be with his children, including dressing up as a woman and pretending to be a nanny.  While it is definitely a very funny film, it is again, another emotional heart tugger.  I titled this blog, Lessons I’ve Learned…but I can honestly say that I have NOT been the amazing parent that Daniel Hillard was in Mrs. Doubtfire.  He was willing to go through any lengths to be with his children. What self sacrifice.   I know I’m still learning.  What a wonderful example to us all.  Thank you Robin for this  beautiful portrayal.

 

LESSON 8- LOVE & FORGIVE YOURSELF FIRST THEN YOU’LL  BE ABLE TO  LOVE SOMEONE ELSE

(Good Will Hunting)  

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There are many underlying themes portrayed throughout Good Will HuntingFear of abandonment, Fear of not being loved, Feelings of unworthiness.  The film follows the story of Will Hunting who is a math prodigy who has been in and out of foster care his entire life.  He finds himself in trouble with the law and in exchange for getting him out of having to serve jail time he is required to go through therapy.  Robin Williams plays Sean Maguire the therapist he ends up meeting with.

Everytime I watch this movie I am brought to tears.  There’s at least two scenes that are filled with such raw emotion that really images (85)hit me.   One is when Will (played by Matt Damon) is at Skylar’s (Minnie Driver) apartment and she confronts him about his fear of loving and being loved.  She says “Will, tell me you don’t love me.”  And as he walks out the door he says “I don’t love you.”  Because of all the rejection in his life he couldn’t bare to be rejected again.  So he preemptively does the rejecting.  If you haven’t seen the film I don’t want to give too much away.  But do yourself a favor and rent it, buy it, watch it.  images (84)

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LESSON 9 -SEIZE THE DAY-CARPE DIEM (Dead Poets Society) 

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Live everyday to the fullest.  Make your life extraordinary.  This film is inspiring to say the least. Don’t be a conformist.  Stand upon the desk of your life and look at things from a different perspective.  Find your own voice.  Live for today.

Now go watch the movie.

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“O Captain! my Captain, our fearful trip is done / the ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.”

 

 

LESSON 10 -LOVE CONQUERS ALL- (What Dreams May Come)

 

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This is probably one of Williams’ lesser known films but to me it is an extraordinary story that at it’s core is about the power of love between two soul mates who, even in death, cannot be separated.  Williams’ character-Dr. Chris Nielsen is not only willing to but actually does traverse hell to find and be reunited with the love of his life-his wife Annie. This movie will rip your heart out.  But it’s one of my all time favorites.  I want to have the kind of love for my soul mate, my wife-Michelle that Williams’ character in this movie has.  I’m still working on it.

“What’s true in our minds is true whether some people know it or not.” Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come 

“A whole human life is just a heart beat in heaven.”  Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come  

 

 

Robin Williams, you inspired us, entertained us, made us laugh and made us cry.  Thank you for sharing your voice with the world.  Thank you for touching my life.   I will close with a quote from my son, Josiah’s, post  on Facebook from last night, “I’m gonna miss you, Genie.”

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Thank you for reading.

Please share on Social Media 

Christoff J. Weihman

ChristoffJWeihman.com

 

 

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters He Played-Part 1

Welcome Back to Soupfly

 

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Like many of you, I am completely stunned and deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Robin Williams yesterday.  I know this is a bit of a departure from our normal Soupfly but I hope you don’t mind and will indulge me while I share with you the Life Lessons I’ve Learned  from Robin Williams and the Characters He Portrayed.  

 

But before I do that, I’d like to tell you a story of when I had the great privilege of serving Robin Williams at a restaurant that I worked at in Los Angeles.  He came in by himself, he ordered-soup and..   Well, I say that “I’d like to tell you a story”  but if I did I’d be making it up.  I’d also like to tell you about the time that I was performing Stand-up at the world famous Comedy Store in LA and Robin Williams gave me advice after my set.   But that didn’t happen either.  Would’ve been nice though.  No, I only met Robin once in passing at some event that I was working at with Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events.  I saw him in the hallway.  I think he was coming out of the restroom.  I said, “Hello Mr. Williams.”  He nodded “Hi” and that was it.  We never spoke to each other again.  I kind of regret that now.

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So many lives  (mine included)  have been profoundly influenced and affected by the life of this incredibly talented, gifted and giving individual-Robin Williams.  It all began for me in 1978 when he, as Mork from Ork and his Egg shell spaceship crashed onto the scene in Boulder Colorado.  The show Mork and Mindy, ran for 4 years which just happened to be the same 4 years(1978-1982) that I was in high school.

Robin Williams was a comic genius and I thought I was too (just kidding)  He was an inspiration to anyone, including me, who thought they were funny.  I remember trying out for our school “Fine Arts Festival” doing my impression of Mork and stealing Robin Williams jokes.  I was hilarious-I thought. Mr. Meyers didn’t thinks so. I didn’t make the cut.  But I never gave up on my dream of doing stand-up comedy.  Eventually, many years later,   I made it to Hollywood-I said “made it to Hollywood”  NOT  “made it in Hollywood” and I had the opportunity to perform at The Comedy Store.  That was very exciting for me and a dream come true.  I actually performed Stand-up in a number of places around LA-in various coffee shops, on the Metro Bus-don’t ask, and even at a Laundromat-yeah, really don’t ask.  I also hosted my own stand up show at Creative Grounds Theater in Los Feliz-then owned by my friend Carey Dunn.

LESSON 1-BE OPTIMISTIC (Mork and Mindy)

Mork from Ork was a wide-eyed optimist and he had a child-like wonder about life and especially about human nature and emotions.   He believed what people told him. He had no guile in him and he always spoke the truth.  You hear too much from people today about “You’ve got to be realistic.”  I’m not sure if that trumps Optimism.  There’s too many negative people in the world.  If you’re optimistic and it doesn’t work out-so what?  Just keep the optimism going for the next time and go at it again.  Mork would’ve made a great entrepreneur.  Nanoo Nanoo.

Robin Williams portrayed so many amazing characters in film.  While there are too many to cite here-and honestly, I’ve not seen every one of his movies, yet there are a few I want to point out and what can be learned from them.

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LESSON 2-BE IN THE MOMENT (Mork and Mindy)

Also from the show Mork and Mindy, I think one thing that Robin Williams exemplified was Being in the Moment.  The past is past and the future is yet to come.  When he was acting as Mork from Ork he was a whirlwind of impressions, improv, creating odd sounds and noises probably never heard before on earth. His rapid fire delivery was almost too much to keep up with. As he delivered line after line the audience was kept in stitches.  (Maybe that’s why he was interested in playing Patch Adams later in his career)   He was a genius at being in tune with the scene, his co-actors and his own character as well and making that moment something special-magical.

LESSON 3- HAVE FUN. DON’T TAKE LIFE OR YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY (Do I really have to expound on this?)

 

LESSON 4-TAKE CHANCES (Good Will Hunting)

 

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Easily one of my favorite Robin Williams movies is Good Will Hunting.  And I’m guessing that it was one of his as well for it was the only film that actually garnered him an Oscar.  He won for Best Supporting Actor, portraying clinical Psychologist Dr. Sean Maguire. While there are many lessons to gain from this heart wrenching film itself- the lesson of Taking Chances to me comes out in the fact that at the time that this movie was being made-1997 Robin already was a huge star and this was a script written by unproven actors and writers. By this time in his career, Robin  had some incredibly popular movies-Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, Dead Poet’s Society and  Good Morning Vietnam, just to name a few.  He was  a big name actor.  He read the script for Good Will Hunting and he loved it and in signing on his star power helped get to get  the film made.  The film starred two fairly unknown actors at the time-Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also happened to be the screenwriters.  By Robin Taking a Chance on these unknown actors and their script-the movie Good Will Hunting catapulted Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s careers.  They too, received Oscars for Original Screenplay for the film.  Both went on to have great film careers  and are still acting today and Ben also started his own insurance company starring a duck.

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WILLIAMSTake Chances.  Don’t be afraid to do something different or to bet on an unknown.  Especially if what you’re betting on is people.  Give someone-an unknown a chance.  Maybe that person is not the one everyone knows as being talented or gifted or whatever but how will the world know unless someone offers them a break?  On behalf of Matt and Ben, thank you Robin,  for believing in them and that script.   Good Will Hunting makes me cry everytime I watch it.  At least twice.

LESSON 5- BELIEVE IN WISHES, THE IMPOSSIBLE-ASK AND IT IS GIVEN (Aladdin)

I will share more Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters he Played in part 2 of this post which will be published in  a few days.

Antonio Banderas said “Before,  in Robin Williams, we had a star but unfortunately today, now we have a legend.  

 

Thank you Robin for the laughter and the tears and the life you shared with us.  Someone told me once that “Your gift is not for you.  It’s  for you to share.” Robin Williams did just that-he shared his gift with us all.

To Be Continued…

 

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Thank you for reading.

As always, please feel free to Like our Soupfly Facebook page, Share on your Social Media and invite others to do the same.

I welcome your comments, thoughts and insights.

Cheers and God Bless you All,

 

Christoff J. Weihman

p.s. I know you’re all going to binge watch Robin Williams movies over the next days.  Please share what you watched and what you took away from it.

Here’s Getting to Wow!-The Perfect Mix

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Welcome Back to Soupfly!!

I told you that I would share with you about our Amazing dining experience at Mix on the top of Delano Hotel (Mandalay Bay property) in Las Vegas last Saturday night.  Michelle and I had dined there previously and had a wonderful time.  I emailed the Assistant General Manager, Olivier de Roany (whom we did not meet then) telling him that we enjoyed our experience.  He promptly emailed me back asking me to inform him of the next time we’d like to come in because he would like to ‘host’ us.  Not really sure what that meant  but I assured him that we would.

In the meantime-about 3 months ago, I asked Olivier if he’d be willing to be interviewed for my book-GETTING TO WOW!  First Class Restaurant Service.  He said yes and so I did.  Since that time-of hearing him describe his philosophy of what exceptional hospitality/restaurant service was all about, I had really been looking forward to the next opportunity for us to dine at Mix again.  And so, with Michelle’s friend Lori visiting Vegas for her birthday-last weekend-it seemed like the perfect time to call Olivier and tell him we’d like to take him up on his invitation.

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SETTING THE TONE “Every one knows that first impressions are key.  The first 5 minutes are the most crucial in setting the tone for the entire dining experience.”  Olivier De Roany  

From the moment we checked in at the Host stand in front of the elevator-when the Hostess told us that we were “All Set” (even though I wasn’t sure what that meant)  I will say it was the beginning of “GETTING TO WOW! MIX Style.  Having  just enjoyed a cocktail at RX Boiler Room-after taking the elevator to the 35th floor-the 3 of us decided a stop at the restroom would be in order.  Why oh why-tmi-you say?  Well, the reason I tell you this is that as we exited the restrooms and walked into the Mix Lounge (which one has to pass through to get to Mix Restaurant) there was Olivier standing in Mix Lounge talking with one of the hostesses. He greeted us with a sincere cheerfulness.  Was he purposely there waiting there for us?  Did the hostesses downstairs radio up to him to tell him that we were on our way up?  I can’t say.  All I know is that as Olivier escorted us into the dining room-every single staff member that we passed by smiled at us and gave some version of a cheerful “Hello or Welcome”.  What a friendly staff I thought.

Upon entering the dining room, Olivier told us that he has  “a nice table prepared for us”.  I don’t know if there’s such a thing as  a ‘not nice table’ in Mix.    To say that Mix is an absolutely beautiful dining room is a hyperbolic understatement.  It is gorgeous.  With a stunning all-white decor- and a hand blown white bubble Murano glass chandelier  as the hanging centerpiece it almost feels like one is inside a glass of champagne.  Not a bad feeling to have.

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Even though the entire dining room is beautiful, when we saw where we were being seated-(in one of only 3 pods in the entire place)  we realized that-yes-Olivier did have “a nice table prepared for us”.  We really started to feel special.  The pod that we were seated at had a fantastic view of the Las Vegas Strip.  Within seconds of being seated we were greeted by Scott-our server and Franco his assistant.  While there were many others who assisted the team-these two gentlemen were the primary ones creating and executing this wonderful experience.  Our dinner began with Scott offering us complimentary champagne from Alain Ducasse’ (the owner of Mix and a culinary legend) own private label.  Or if we didn’t want champagne, Scott said he’d be happy to start our dinner with something else.  “Yes, please bring on the champagne.” was our reply.  We’re not even 5 minutes in and I know that this is going to be an Amazing dining experience.

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Next, Scott gave us what I can only describe as  guided tour of the menu.  He so creatively described many of the dishes from the appetizers to the main entrees that he even almost made the duck sound delectable to me.  Anyone who knows me knows that I only eat fish-no other animal protein.  He carefully explained the lay out of the menu-one part was the traditional Alain Ducasse fare, another part a tasting menu and then the third section being a little more modern and contemporary versions.

Scott exhibited the perfect combination of professionalism but not stuffy and a  truly friendly nature.  There was no culinary question that stumped him and he made excellent suggestions for each of us.  We all trusted his guidance and the three of us were all thoroughly impressed and happy with our dinner choices.  But oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Within a few minutes of the champagne we were greeted by Matt George, the Sommelier.  He has thousands of bottles of wine to order, maintain and educate the staff on.  What a great responsibility.    After ascertaining the palate and wine preferences of my wife-Michelle, Lori and myself,  he easily guided us to a nice bottle of Tobin James Zinfandel.  It was the perfect complement to each of our entrees.  Again, with such a  friendly and helpful demeanor,  Matt was so pleasant and his presence added to our evening.

 

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Next came a refreshing amuse bouche.  What looked to me like butterscotch pudding turned out to be a “lobster salad” with chopped cucumber, lobster and a cantaloupe foam (espuma).  This was our first bite of food and it was scrumptious.  And it did what an amuse is supposed to do-tantalize and prime the palate or the appetite.  What made it even more amazing to me-is that from our short conversation when we were discussing the menu-I mentioned to Scott-I don’t eat meat and I really prefer to stay away from dairy-he took note and paid attention to details.   So, when this amuse, that clearly looked like it had cream in it was placed in front of me, I was so pleasantly surprised that indeed it did not have dairy.  Scott was in tune with his guests and what my/our needs were.

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For our appetizer-aside from the Champagne, we shared a wonderful crab salad.  I can’t remember all the ingredients-I do remember it had gnocchi (potato dumplings) in it that were the lightest and fluffiest I had ever tasted.  I highly recommend it.

DELECTABLE DISHES

Our entrees were excellent.  My wife had one of her favorites-Roasted Duck.  She orders it quite often when we dine out and Chef Bruno Riou did not disappoint.  He prepares his  Roasted Duck  with radishes and turnips with a black olive sauce.  Michelle absolutely loved it.   She commented that she especially enjoyed that it was more salty and savory whereas most of the time Duck is usually prepared sweet.    Scott recommended the Cod Brandade for Lori which was prepared with lemon and capers and cooked with a brown butter sauce.  I think from the picture you can see that Lori was in Cod heaven.   And me?  I enjoy lobster.   So the Roasted Maine Lobster “Au Curry” had my name on it.  It was served with coconut basmati rice and a very mild curry or tikka masala type sauce.  The flavors were perfect for me and there was so much lobster.  Lobster tail, lobster claw, lobster meat everywhere.  Yum.  There seemed to be so much care in the preparation of each dish.  (Note-the pictures do not do justice to how amazing each dish was)

 

“Tasting a dish should be memorable.  If nothing remains in the memory of the guest, then I have made a mistake.” Chef Alain Ducasse

If I may say, Chef Ducasse, you gave us great memories-No mistakes here.

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TEAMWORK-

Scott and his team, Franco, Alex and  others whose names I did not catch did such a fantastic job of working together. The serving of the dishes, the timing of courses,  the explanation of dishes, the clearing and table manicuring-everything was spot on.  And yes they actually crumbed our table.   Thank you.  The whole dinner was a seamless production from beginning to end.  No cues missed.  And every member of the team seemed to care about our experience.  Also, we noticed  Olivier, Sebastien (General Manager) and other management staff walking by periodically to observe our enjoyment of the evening.     Franco, in the middle of dinner asked to see my phone because he said he was going to take a picture for us.  Well he didn’t take a picture of us.  Instead,  he went and stood directly under the Murano glass bubble chandelier and took pictures of it for us.  See picture at the top of the page.  What a really cool picture.  And what a thoughtful gesture.  Thanks Franco.  Oh and he also introduced us to General Manager Sebastien and to Chef Bruno as we were leaving.

 

We concluded our dinner with two surprises- a funky, foamy, delicious pina colada and a nice dessert from the kitchen to celebrate Lori’s birthday.  I don’t even remember what it was-something with chocolate in it.  (I rarely eat dessert).

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Michelle and Lori Pina colada

There is so much more that I can say about Mix Restaurant and even Mix Lounge.  Like the view from the bathroom-when you are seated.  Ahem.  You must check it out.

But I will end by saying this…Wow!  From the greeting and seating and setting the tone to the exquisite food and the decor and the ambiance to the amazing hospitality extended to us-truly here’s GETTING TO WOW!-They’ve really got it- THE PERFECT MIX.

 

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Thank you so much for enjoying Soupfly. I truly appreciate all your support.  Please Like Soupfly Facebook page and Share and Invite your friends to do the same.  Also, I welcome your comments and input.  If you would like to receive an email notice when a new post of Soupfly is published please hit the FOLLOW  button.

AND as I mentioned previously, soon we will be accepting PRE-ORDERS  for my soon to be published Best Seller-

GETTING TO WOW! First Class Restaurant Service.  Please let us know in your comments that you are interested in

PRE-ORDER information.

Thank you and Cheers!!

Christoff J. Weihman

Las Vegas, NV

ChristoffJWeihman.com

Of Celebrity Chefs, Vegan Authors and Soupfly Followers around the World

Welcome back to Soupfly.

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Today actually is soup weather in Vegas-It’s rainy, cold and only 76 degrees right now and only getting up to 82 today(Monday)   That’s about 20 degrees colder than normal.  It actually is a nice change-briefly, that is, because I LOVE the sun and normal 100 degree temperature.  Now that I’ve said it, I have to figure out what kind of soup to make for dinner because I think my wife may be expecting it.

Today’s blog is taking a little different shape and structure.  Since I’m still new at this and it’s all still a work in progress (just like I am), I decided I’d take a varied approach.

How about some updates?!  First,  a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have Read, Liked on Facebook, Shared on your timeline and Invited your friends to do the same AND THANK YOU  to all of you who are Following Soupfly.  I truly appreciate your support. And I invite you to continue. I realize that my posts are  a bit lengthy and that it takes more than a couple minutes to read them.  If I was able to type faster then maybe you could read them faster-I understand.  The reason they are so long is-well, I feel like I have something of value to share with you.  I believe I have some things to say that are not being said.  And also, like my wife says, I like to talk a lot.

Here’s the GREAT NEWS-after just 5 posts in 3 weeks we have gotten over 460 hits on the blog  and 85 likes on Facebook at Soupfly!!!  To me that is a great start.  We have readers in 8 different countries: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, The Philippines, Switzerland, Russia and Canada.  I think I know who my readers from each country are except for United Kingdom and Germany.  And I would love to get to know my readers.  So whoever you may be and whereever you may be from-I INVITE YOU TO COMMENT- and tell what you enjoy about the content of Soupfly.  If you have ideas of topics that you’d like to be covered here, please share them.

Soupfly Facebook -As I mentioned, we are now up to 85 likes on Facebook.  That is fantastic!!  My goal is to not only break but to shatter  100 likes with this week’s post.  And next week maybe 150 or 200.  So I’m asking for your help.  If you really do like Soupfly and you’ve already LIKED it on FB, would you be open to Sharing it and Inviting your friends to do so?  Thank you.   Now back to our regularly scheduled program/blog.

Previously on Soupfly… Wait, that’s a different show.

 

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As you all  know-I hope-I have been working on my book-GETTING TO WOW!! First Class Restaurant Service  for quite some time now and it is nearing completion.  Yahoo!!  Well, this weekend I had the Amazing pleasure of meeting a local, published author, Paul Graham, who is a well respected authority on all things Vegan in Vegas.  We met at his book signing for his vegan guidebook called, EATING VEGAN IN VEGAS.  I invite you to check out both is book and his blog by the same name: Eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com.  eating-vegan-front

 Not only was it a pleasure meeting Paul but it was exciting for me to be at his book signing and visualizing that that will be me in  a few short months.  No, not that I’ll be Paul Graham but that I’ll be a published author like him, having my own book signing.  I can hardly wait.  What’s that?  Get the book done already?! Absolutely!!

 I look forward to us working together to cross promote each other’s work.  And here is an interesting side note-Paul is a wedding officiant here in Las Vegas.  While I was at his event, I asked him, “So, Paul, where do you officiate weddings?”  “At the Little Church of the West”, came his reply.  Turns out he was the minister of record when Michelle and I got married there last November (11/12/13).

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I thought that he looked familiar.   Amazing!! Vegas is a big small town. Really.

Soupfly’s weekend was  filled with many great highlights-here’s two more:

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Las Vegas is THE city for Celebrity Chef restaurants. Everywhere you turn you see a familiar chef’s name on the Las Vegas Strip.  Chefs that you know from the Food Network family, or from Master Chef or from Bravo’s Top Chef.  One would be hard pressed to find a Celebrity Chef that DOES NOT have a restaurant in Vegas.

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Well,  I had the great pleasure and privilege of meeting Top Chef Master Rick Moonen at his RX Boiler Room in Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort and Casino.  It is such a cool, eclectic, fun place.  The menu is fun and creative and the cocktails are unique and have personality.  While we only stayed for drinks, it was so worth it. The decor is so funky, I’m not an expert so I don’t know what to call it-maybe Seafaring Avant Garde?

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20140802_181315-1Chef Moonen is an advocate of sustainable seafood and I believe that his seafood is flown in fresh daily.   And the cocktails are all made fresh daily.  I highly recommend a visit to RX Boiler Room next time you’re in Vegas.  And no, sorry, I don’t have a picture of me with Chef Moonen to prove that we actually did meet.  But would I mislead you?  When you’re there, please ask a staff member to show you where the bathroom is-you’ll love it. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I promised myself that this post would be shorter-so I’ll have to continue this next time.  I will just say that I had one of THE absolute best dining experience ever,  on Saturday night.  It’s a place that Michelle and I dined at once before and because it was so great then, we decided to go back to celebrate the birthday of Michelle’s friend, Lori who was visiting us.  Talk about GETTING TO WOW!! they definitely did.   I will share the details of our wonderful experience in  a couple days.  The place?  Ok, I’ll at least tell you that-MIX Restaurant at the Delano (Formerly THE Hotel, on the Mandalay Bay property).

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Thanks for reading.

God Bless you all,

Eat some Soup (preferably vegan)

 

Oh, and it was tomato vegetable with quinoa and kale-the soup that I made for dinner for my wife and me.

Christoff J. Weihman

Aspire Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV

ChristoffJWeihman.com