I told her I didn’t think we had any kitchen staff left but would check. When I returned, I said to her that we had no one to cook and that there was not much I could offer her. She pleaded with me, and I said I would try to whip up something with what was available as all the food had been stored and locked away. She said, “That would be perfect!” We then sat her at a round table in the Green Room and left to figure out what to serve.
When Marshall and I went to the kitchen, we scrambled around, trying to find food options and ingredients. After a frantic search, we decided to prepare a trio of pasta (penne, angel hair, and rigatoni) in a Marinara sauce and start the table off with arugula salads and whatever condiments we could find. We were running around like a headless chicken, not knowing what the hell we were doing. But it was Diana Ross, for Christ’s sake!
Once they finished their salads, we were ready to serve her the pasta course. While I was behind the kitchen line preparing the tomato sauce, Marshall was removing the pasta from the boiling water and sifting it into a strainer. We got a large family-style plate with which to add the three perfectly prepared paste, I might add, and when we had it all garnished and ready to go, I sent Marshall out the kitchen’s double doors. As he was carrying this enormous plate of pasta, each lined in perfect sections, he slipped on an oil slick and dropped the entire dish and all of its contents. You could hear the plate smash to pieces with a great crash from the kitchen. I ran out to see the damage myself, and I shouted, “Holy shit, Marshall! That took us 30 minutes to prepare. What the fuck are we going to do now?”
We restarted. What else could we do? I did some damage control by telling Diana we had a minor accident and that we should have her food ready shortly. I gave her some wine on the house to keep her table well lubricated and got back to work with Marshall. In the end, her table was fed, and she was delighted.
A few days later, she ran into my boss, Shelly Fireman, in the Hamptons and told him how delightful her experience was at his restaurant and that Marshall and I made her night. Well, that’s what my boss told me, at least.
Former restauranteur, musician, concert promoter, producer, publisher, manager, and impresario, Charles Carlini has synthesized these roles to become a dynamic force in the music industry–noted for his ability to bring diverse talent together to create innovative concerts and recordings that reach and move music-lovers everywhere.