February flora in spades this morning at the Ferry Building farmer’s market. Colors so vibrant, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! Welcome Spring!
• Create a World-Class Pastry Department that values Guest Service, Technique and Consistency in all aspects of performance. (Philosophical)
This goal is a reflection of what we want to accomplish in terms of Guest Experience. The Guest
should benefit from this directly, as we will continue to push the team to go above and beyond
in their daily decision making to constantly consider the Guest’s experience, as well as how their
decisions affect the performance of the team, themselves and even their personal lives. We
believe that each decision affects the next and even something as seemingly unrelated to the
Guest, such as punctuality, does indeed trickle through and create energy that could cloud a
potentially perfect Guest experience.
• Invest Ourselves in our Employees in order to Succeed. (Philosophical)
This goal is a dual purpose idea. The first objective is to instill and nurture High Moral Character
into all of the employees that we come into contact with. We are not solely responsible for
creating physical items, although it is a big part of our job. We are responsible and committed
in a much deeper level to lead our team to succeed by embracing ideas of Team Work,
Anticipation, Compassion, Leadership and Positivity.
When Moral Character is held in high regard, every single person in the restaurant wins, from
porters to cooks, to Management to Owners and of course, the Guest. This feeling is what
will give us the opportunity to receive only the best resumes, to create the most successful
partnerships and to gain the most trust in the community and in the nation that we can offer a
• Embrace Delegation. (Physical)
Continuing to realize the importance of our commitment to those on our respective teams to
teach, mentor and to pass on responsibilities that will broaden their repertoire and
keep them highly engaged in their work. Along with this idea is the necessity of cross-training
each member of the team to create flexibility within the team, which allows us, the Managers,
to do our job of leading by example and taking the program to new heights.
*A special note of gratitude to our friend, Cameron Ingle at Roses and Rifles Photography, for capturing the magic and keeping us inspired.
Living in San Francisco, Alen and I are lucky to have access to the best of the best when it comes to the hospitality industry. We have had the incredible opportunity to live and work in many cities around the world and we can both agree that we have settled in the land of (Straus) milk and (Marshall’s Farm) honey. A Farmer’s Market for every day of the week, plenty of incredible restaurants to try, amazing coffee, crafted cocktails, exceptional service, our pick of new and vintage cooking gadgets and supplies and last but not least, Galen Garretson, our very own Town Cutler.
We knew that we were in for something great when on our very first visit to the city, Chef Tusk directed us to the corner of Bush and Jones, in lower Nob Hill, to go find Galen and introduce ourselves. I am always optimistic when it comes to recommendations made by respected industry colleagues, but I wondered what to expect. As we made our way up and down the hilly streets, we were greeted by a small storefront window filled with an interesting array of knives, wooden blocks, sharpening stones and a scimitar wielding raccoon guarding his lunch and also the door. “Alright,” I thought, smiling, “a taxidermied, perhaps previously rabid masked bandit with a huge knife to welcome us. Perfect. He is welcoming us, right?” Those who have succumbed to the world of professional kitchens can quickly understand the humor of this merch display and know immediately that they are among friends here.
The interior of Town Cutler is decidedly masculine and completely charming. Spoons of every shape and style occupy mustard colored walls, to which cooks are drawn to like moths to fire. Leather strops hang from the ceiling and sturdy, handmade canvas knife rolls line the walls and wooden work table. Large bolts of leather lean in the corner. This is a retail space but also, very much an active workshop. The most unique part of Galen’s design is the knife display – long magnetic strips accommodate knives of varying styles and purposes are kept in sight but out of reach by a huge glass guard that can be easily raised and lowered by a visible pulley system. If you’d like to get up close and personal with a Zanmai or a Takeda, just ask. The team at Town Cutler is happy to help and share their experience with a certain type of knife with you. They even offer hands-on sharpening workshops so that you will know how to maintain your knives on your own.
While you peruse the shop, you will hear the door opening and closing frequently as cooks from all over the city visit to drop off or pick up their perfectly sharpened knifes. Pleasantries are exchanged over the huge antiquated wooden door that serves as a counter and perhaps even advice is given about which restaurants are hiring or who is looking to make a move to a new kitchen. It is this feeling of Galen and his team delivering an authentic service to fellow craftsmen and women that I love so much. A small town intimacy in a city full of cooks.
To visit in person: 1005 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
To visit online: http://towncutler.com/#home