redefining hospitality.

March 30, 2010

Hospitality should be about pleasant surprises. The kind of reaction that makes you think this is how life should be.

The other day my friends and I were sitting on the front stoop of my apartment building. For those who know Boston’s South End, a sure sign of Spring, is the number of stoop gatherings on any given warm day. Well, albeit a bit premature, my friends and I, with our coats securely fastened, decided to enjoy a glass of wine on the front stoop.

A gentleman walked by with a black apron hanging to his knees and a grocery bag tucked under his arm. Being an obvious chef to most (correction — an obvious Boston-famous chef to most), he felt the right to gingerly joke with us. “You really should have some appetizers with that wine.” The following responses followed, “We’d love some.” “Certainly should.” “That sounds good to us.”

Unbeknownst to us, this man knew a thing or two about being hospitable. (As I am sure is often witnessed in his successful, long-standing, highly-rated restaurant. If only we got out a bit more, perhaps we would have recognized this.) And so minutes later, back he came. Popping on to the first step of the stoop, he presented us with a delectable plate of pâtés, Julienne asparagus sprinkled with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese, complimented with toasty morsels of bread to scoop up all the goodness. He even brought a knife so we could neatly partition the pâté to our liking.

Pleasantly surprised, we hooted and hollered and shouted our praise at the thoughtful man. We talked about it the rest of the week. In fact, we’re still talking about it. It’s not that it was such an unbelievable act. It’s that we all agreed, this is how life should be.

I want to be a part of lots of little moments where people say, this is how life should be. Because, quite honestly, it should.

Thank you for reminding me of this Gordon.

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5 Responses to “redefining hospitality.”

  1. Joe Cigala Says:

    Enjoyed the post, good job. The appetizers sound really delicious, would have enjoyed being there.

  2. Ken Cigala Says:

    To me it sounds like the act of a great neighbor. Someone that looks out for the others in the “hood”.

    Closing your trunk when you forget. Pulling your front door shut and checking to see that it was locked. Like that commercial where someone is always picking up and catching everything for the next person to keep the world in balance. Paying it forward.

    I could see hospitality being defined like that. Balance. And what is a drink without a nosh! Maybe that is what motivated him to visit you with food. I like it.

    • Karen Says:

      Ken – thanks for your comment. And thanks for checking out my blog. I love talking about this stuff. Please keep your thoughts coming!

  3. Sunny Says:

    kciggy, this is just about the best story i have ever heard!!! and i am loving the food site you posted… eat boutique? yeah! you gotta make the homemade gnocchi on the smittenkitchen site. not too hard and so good! but saute, don’t boil! oh so tasty!!!


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