I'm not a waiter, though I should be, because I'd make a lot more money. But I think I'd be a pretty horrid waiter, because I know nothing about wine, I'm terrible at holding drinks, and when I don't know the answer to something I freeze up. "Does the banana bread have nuts?" Umm...well...maybe...let me go check on that...I'll leave my face sweat right here for you.
But I snatched up a server test at the restaurant where I work as a host (saving lives), just to put a couple more facts in my toolbox. (?)
Let's see what I know here.
1. What is frisee?
My answer: Okay, I know this one because every person who applies to work at my restaurant gets it wrong. Most people think it's whipped cream, but it's actually PART OF YOUR SALAD. Gasp! It's the very light green prickly leaf that is crunchy and untasty. That guy is frisee.
2. Name three oysters and where they are from.
My answer: Small, medium and large. All from the sea.
Correct answer: Kumamoto from Washington State (sounds Japanese, but whatever), Blue Point from Long Island, and Cape May from New Jersey. According to Wikipedia. The Kumamoto are sweetest and most flavorful in the summer months (and they ARE imported from Japan, according to foodista.com), because that is closest to their spawning time. (Ew.) Blue Point oysters are "characteristically briney," with a sweet aftertaste. And the Cape May are smaller, round oysters.
3. What is the difference between ice cream and sorbet?
My answer: Sorbet is more colorful.
Correct answer: Ah. Sorbet is made with sweetened water or juice, not milk or cream. (But it IS also more colorful.)
4. What is a bellini?
My answer: A drink...a fancy drink...in a James Bond movie, or Italy?
Correct answer: It's a Ventian cocktail! I was right about the Italy part. Mmm! It's sparkling wine and peach puree served in a champagne flute without ice (which means "straight up," I now know). Tasty.
5. Name three cheese varieties.
My answer: Um. Swiss. Provolone. Cheddar.
Correct answer: Those were technically varieties of cheese, but here are more interesting kinds.
6. What is proscuitto?
My answer: Ham?
Correct answer: Ham! It is a dry-cured ham (this means storing the ham for a long time?) that is thinly sliced and uncooked.
7. How do you make a martini?
My answer: With food coloring and olives?
Correct answer: Ah! A martini is made with gin and vermouth and garnished with an olive (1 for Kim). My question: two different kinds of alcohol, and no juice? Hmph. So, first, a classy bartender must pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes and stir. Then strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with an olive. Thank you, International Bartenders Association.
8. What is the primary grape varietal in Chablis?
My answer: Purple? I understand only half of the words in the question.
Correct answer: I believe the correct answer is Chardonnay, which is surprising to me because I did not know that Chardonnay was a grapevine. I am also not sure if the word Chardonnay is capitalized. So I was very wrong, because Chardonnay is a white grapevine, making the Chablis wine a white wine.
9. What does the term "grass-fed" mean?
My answer: Um, it means grass-fed? Like the cows ate grass?
Correct answer: This could be the first question I've gotten right, after the definition of "frisee." Grass-fed means that the cows ate grass for most of their lives; however, some producers call their cows grass-fed, when really they fed the cows grain for the last three months before slaughter. Shudder. This reminds me of why I was a vegetarian for three years.
10. List three names of Scotch.
My answer: The kind my dad drinks, the kind my dad is too cheap to buy to drink...
Correct answer: Dewar's (I know that one!), Ballantine (that sounds lovely) and Johnny Walker Black. (There is also Johnny Walker Red.)
That concludes the server test.
In sum, I know nothing. See, I would make a horrible server. I would spill things on the guests, pair the wrong wine with the wrong cheese and pause during service to Wikipedia something on the menu. It's a good thing I get paid for what I do best: smiling, batting my eyelashes and talking like a high-quality hooker on the phone.