I could equate the perfect pair to a lot of things. However; being in the food business, I’m usually referring to food and wine. I trust other people’s judgment when it comes to wine, and if I put my faith in just the right people, everything will be ok. I don’t worry that much when it comes to pairing food and wine. I go with what I know or I go with people who know much more than I do. I tend to worry much more about people pairing. It’s a huge deal. There’s a reason place cards and invitations were invented. You have to think about who is going to be sitting at your table, and how to avoid unpleasant evenings. Remember those parties in high school where everyone was invited? It never ended pretty. Just because you are choosy about your dinner guest doesn’t mean you don’t care about that person any less. In fact, it’s more thoughtful to put a little thought into it. Of course, sometimes these things can’t be helped. Like a dinner I hosted for the comedienne Judy Gold and her entourage. It was during the last presidential race, which was always a source of tension in my family. My mother and siblings are all liberal, my father was very conservative. It was very tense before the guests arrived and I did a lot of begging to just not talk about politics. I sweated through introductions, appetizers, and dinner. The election was on everyone’s mind and it wasn’t a shy crowd. Luckily, I dodged a bullet. My father did not talk about politics. Judy adored my father and so did the conservative banker who came as someone’s date.
So let’s get personal. Frankly, these are the pairings which matter the most. Until recently, I thought that I would be running this business completely on my own. I had interviewed some great chefs, but was still wrestling with the notion of a perfect fit. I had the good fortune to hear through the grapevine that Chef Jessica Ray was looking for a change. Think back to the best first date you ever had. Remember that fabulous feeling of comfort mixed with excitement? It doesn’t matter that he ruined your credit and stole your car six months later. Just concentrate on the first date bit. About ten minutes into the interview with Jess, I was done. This was the person who would enable me to sleep at night. Immediately I realized that she is completely knowledgeable about the business and easy going. The best way I can describe it is Mary and Rhoda. It looks like we are going to make it on our own.