Clean Your Plate

Ruth Meric
Deron Neblett

Speaking off the toque: Ruth Meric, founder of Ruth Meric Catering, 3030 Audley Street, (713)522-1448

Q. As a professional, does it bother you if plates at a dinner or a party come back with uneaten food?

A. Well, it does [especially] if you have put out something that you are excited about, that maybe you have invented, and the people are not getting it.At a party, it is very common for a chef to look at plates coming back to the kitchen in order to see what is being returned. Usually it will be just one item that is consistently not being eaten. Other times it is a gender thing, like the women didn't eat the mashed potatoes and the men did -- or the women didn't eat the pastry but they ate everything else.I will definitely run to the kitchen to see what's being eaten and what's coming back. It definitely makes you feel good when the plates come back clean.

I do think of myself as a good cook, so it does matter if people are not eating. You don't worry if the skinny ladies on a perpetual diet aren't having anything, but the regular eaters count.

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