Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons talks catering, weddings, and Stephen Aspirinio's ego.

on Dec 15, 2008

I recognize how earnestly Stephen wants to share his knowledge. I appreciate his belief that he can "elevate" the industry and I applaud his lofty ideals, as without this type of ambition restaurants would not be challenged to move forward. But with each episode, his ego has clouded his focus. Time and again he has demonstrated that he is far more concerned with the location of Rioja, the acid balance of Rose, and the correct temperature of Pinot Gris than with getting his hands dirty in the kitchen. The irony of it is that he speaks about wine to diners twice his age as if they are children, when the kid has only been drinking legally for three years! I trust that one day Stephen will be the great chef, sommelier or even the award-winning restaurateur to which he aspires. He has the drive and the education. But until he learns that good service is less about hearing the sound of your own voice and more about tuning into the voices and concerns of your customers, he is going to have a very hard time finding anyone to listen.