The work begins long before doors open. Sous Chef Benjamin Caimi says it’s all hands on deck for Thanksgiving at McCormick and Schmick’s.
“Today is one of our biggest days of the year so everybody’s just laser focused right now getting our aces in places and getting ready to pump out those turkey dinners all day long.” Caimi gave KMBC a look inside the kitchen as staff prepared the various ingredients needed that day.
“We’re feeling really optimistic because we’ve been busier this year than the two years before the pandemic, actually. So we’re hoping to have like a really good turnout for the holiday season in general this year.”
Behind every peeled shrimp in an entrée, each cut-up strawberry in a dessert and every sprig of mint torn off the vine for a mojito, is a worker away from home this holiday.
“It becomes like your second family, you got to remember, people are here six to ten hours a day, sometimes five days a week. So, we see each other more than we see our real family. So it’s kind of you build that sense of camaraderie, you know?” said Caimi.
With a prime second story view of the Country Club Plaza Lights, the restaurant has more than 1200 reservations Thursday. The event marks the beginning of a busy holiday season.
“This is like, you know, the passing of the Olympic torch, you know, it’s time to go as soon as you see those Plaza lights come on.”
These long busy days are a welcome sight for an industry thankful to serve.
“In a time like this, you know, everybody kind of complains about having to be to work like on Thanksgiving, but at the same time, it’s nice to have that security of a job that we are here. So you know, I’m thankful for obviously friends, family, and then the co-workers and everybody that showed up today.”
He says a little kindness goes a long way.
“It’s kind of the nature of the beast. But at the same time, I always tell people, you know, just be a little thankful for the people in the service industry, the retail industry, even that kid at Quik Trip that’s there so you can stop and get your cigarettes or beer and your gas. Just know that there are people that are here working on these holidays, and you know, just don’t forget about those people. If you stopped in somewhere, say, ‘Hey, thanks for being here,’ you know, but we do it just because this is what we love to do. And we’re here for you guys.”