Live TV is an art form I have great appreciation for. The people who perform it can seemingly handle anything. They know like the great stage actors before them that the show must go on. In a way it is very much like waiting tables. No matter what the guests say to you as a server, you must remain on point. Dropping a plate, spilling a drink, having a wife try to play footsie with you while you are telling the specials; no matter what happens the show must go on.
17 years of serving is one of the few things that could have prepared me for what you are about to see in this video. When I was asked about doing a segment about making Valentine’s Day dinner at home more romantic, the original idea was folding napkins and setting the table. It was actually my idea to do a flambe and pop a bottle of champagne. One of those things didn’t quite happen. The other happened in the most unexpected manner. I have opened hundreds of bottles of champagne and done hundreds of flambes. None has resulted in what you will see in this video.
When something goes wrong in a restaurant you have to hope that you are surrounded by professionals who can help you recover. In this case KCTV’s Kelly Jones proved that not only is she the most stunning member of the Kansas City media, she is also a consummate professional. When things started going awry, she played it off like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. We shared a good laugh about it afterwards, but I think we were both far more rattled than we let on.
The important lesson to all of this for servers is that no matter what happens at a table, you must always appear to have things under control. You can enjoy a good laugh at your own expense, but the moment where you seem to be losing your cool is when things will start to spiral. Always stay calm and carry on. Mistakes will happen. You will laugh about them afterwards, but first you must get through the meal. Whether it is a runaway cork, a mouse scurrying across the dining room, or realizing your pants are unzipped; the show must go on.
The important lesson I learned is to stick to interviews and leave cooking demos to the professionals.