A few months ago if you had asked me how I felt about food, I would have more than likely responded with something sarcastic or cynical. Working in the service industry for the better part of my adolescent/teenage/adult life - unfortunately lead me to an early burnout with something I used to feel passion for. Recently, I've worked for several years now, I've been a professional snowboard coach/year-round resort employee - but at 33 with 2 toddlers - your priorities tend to shift. All signs in my life were pointing me towards food, and Osteria. So I followed them.
I met Sweets (our chef) through mutual creative friends that also played music and loved food. Aside from random run-ins around Laconia, (before Osteria) I never had the chance to really meet, or get to know him. I randomly added him a few of years ago bc I dug what Local was doing and we knew a lot of the same people. Fast forward to Summer 2018; Sweets had posted on his Facebook account about being ISO help opening a new restaurant, so I threw out a shot in the dark and the rest is history. I'm blown away by this team, day after day - and the mutual love, appreciation, and network of support has helped me really own myself in a much needed way.
Before being welcomed into this family, I was preparing for another seasonal summer working at a random resort - entertaining other families on expensive vacations I couldn't afford. Did I have reservations about putting my apron back on? Certainly. I have a growing family to help care for. And working in the kitchen is hard work, and the days are long - but Sweets strictly enforces the camaraderie here, and (for us) seeing diners truly connecting to their food pushes all of the negative past experiences out of the picture. Thank you, Sweets - for teaching me how to taste my food versus just eat it, and for the daily lessons/knowledge that I can apply far beyond the kitchen.
There is no pretense around (owner) Kevin Halligan, Sweets, Osteria, or any off this team. We're a bunch of jokester kitchen hooligans and we embrace that and own it.
Sweets said it best on day 1;
"I don't need any of you here; I want you to be here. You're a part of something and I want every one of you to feel like you belong here... We're a family, so take care of each other."
I could go on and on, and we're only a short way into what is already a beautiful ride. This short-order cook turned chef de tournant - doesn't take those words lightly. I've worked for too many disconnected managers in the past who's best teaching method was to be hyper-critical of you, whilst providing no tools to help educate or improve. That kind of mentality breaks you down - and this is never going to be that kind of place. We're here bc we love, respect, and value food, each other, and the learning process. We're pushing ourselves to grow and improve every single day we walk through those kitchen doors, and now (for me at least) going to "work" feels much more like "school" in the best way possible.