Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When I was a kid




When I was a kid, it was sort of a family joke. We didn’t eat out much, but we could count on it when we did, whether we had a reservation or not, the host or hostess would bellow out our name calling us to our table.

“Hardy party…Hardy party…Hardy party of 6”, invariably in some “sing-song” fashion.

I am acutely aware of this still, and at the age of 44, even though most restaurants don’t act that way anymore, I’ve learned to just leave just my first name: Patrick.

My name is Patrick Hardy. I am a foodie. I live to eat. I love talking about food. I love going out to eat. I love to cook. I love to read about food. I love to watch cooking shows on television. I love cookbooks. I love food magazines. I love restaurant reviews. I love to shop for food. Suffice to say “I LOVE FOOD”.

In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with and around food for the past 23 years. Currently, I am the Director of Sales and Marketing of a hotel and conference center and we do an inordinate amount of catering. I’ve also worked as a Banquet Server, Banquet Captain, Banquet Maitre D’, Lounge Manager, Restaurant Manager, Catering Sales Manager, Senior Catering Sales and Assistant Director of Banquet Operations.

The first job I ever held was a line cook at Taco Charley’s, a bad Taco Bell impersonator. Then I worked as a cook for the Country Kitchen Buffet.

Growing up, my mother would say, “We don’t go out to dinner often, but when we do, we go somewhere nice.” For the most part that was true. One of my first restaurant memories involves a crab louie salad in a seaside village, a dish I still crave to this day. I clearly have some emotional ties to food and I suppose it’s debatable if my personal obsession is a healthy one or not!

Do not call me a food snob. I can have lunch at Citronelle and dinner at Popeye’s. The experience at Citronelle may be more sublime and transcendent, but there is something deeply soul-satisfying about good ole Popeye’s fried chicken.

I don’t know if my experiences warrant yet another in the already crowded field of internet food blogs, but I do know that I know a good deal about food. I’m always up for a new experience with dining, whether I’m donning the cook’s apron that day or I’ve left that to someone else. Regardless, here goes: The Hardy Party Review, a collection of my musings on food, dining out and cooking. I hope to share with you some of the memorable moments in my life regarding food, be they good or bad. I hope you enjoy them.

Let me tell you about my partners in crime. First is my life-long partner in crime, my partner, Steve. Steve is not a foodie, but Steve likes to eat. I’ve introduced Steve to many culinary delights. Over the years, he has become quite adventurous, as if he had a choice living with me. Steve makes a great dinner companion, and is the light of my life. We have been together for 16 years now.

He was a much thinner man when I met him.

My other partner in crime is Carlos. Carlos is our “adopted son”. Hailing all the way from sunny Bogota, Colombia, Carlos is the technical guru of this endeavor. Carlos is thin now, but we’ll see how long that lasts hanging around us.

Carlos and Steve are my usual dining companions, and you will hear a lot about them in my writings.


5 comments:

Osito5505 said...

LOVE YOU!!

michel.pascual said...

Patrick, I'm glad to see that you're sharing your "foodie" expertise with others. You've always been my #1 resource, and I look forward to future Hardy-Party blogs!!! :)

Anne said...

Patrick, I delight in that you write just as you speak. I can hear the words coming out of your mouth as I read them on the screen! We have shared many a culinary adventure over the years - spending $ - $$$$! I hope to enjoy another meal or two together, soon! Anne

Tami said...

Patrick, I am impressed with your blog. Just as Anne says you write as you speak. Anyone who looks at your blog will benefit. You are as fabulous in the kitchen, as you are out! Beth and I plan our vacations with watery mouths, excited to find out what's for dinner.
I love you! OH, you have great taste in men,too!

TBC said...

Hi Patrick,
Your comment on my blog led me here.How did you find my blog?
Thanks for sharing your experiences & expertise with us!Looking forward to many more of such posts from you!