At long last, I had the chance to eat at Oxheart -- Houston's infinitesimal-but-nationally-acclaimed restaurant, over the Labor Day weekend. The food was excellent (as expected) and filling (not expected). More interesting to me, however, was watching Justin Yu and his team at work in the kitchen.
Here's what I saw:
- An incredibly disciplined kitchen.
- Everyone being respectful of one other -- unlike you might expect after watching chefs like Gordon Ramsay on reality TV.
- A kitchen that is not an assembly line; everyone is full-stack. Given a broad outline of the executive chef's tasks, each sous chef can complete it.
- No rigid workflow; the course was adjusted as needed -- as people placed orders.
- Sous chefs working as peers, yet everyone understanding the chain of command. It was kind of fun to hear, "Chef!", confirming a task when Chef Yu appointed it.
Oxheart's kitchen looked a lot like a good software shop. We've been working hard to build a similarly talented, respectful, accountable environment at Molecule, although nobody yells "Chef!" after getting instructions around here. But it's never too late to start...
Nice work, Chef Yu!