Potato Soup

The chef herself came out and, quite pleased, laid the soup out before customer.

He took one look at it and said, “What is this? I ordered potato soup!”

The chef, undeterred, replied, “Yes, I did try to include some potato in it. In fact, to complement the potato, there’s also dill, onion, and garlic.”

The customer’s look became steely and his voice began to rise, “I ordered potato soup. There should be more potato! You can’t get potato soup anywhere in town and we both know why. It’s not right. There should be more potato.”

The chef’s looked a bit impatient. There were, after all, many more meals to prepare. “I hear what you’re saying. I’m aware of the issue and we’ve been making an effort in the kitchen lately to add more potato but we have many customers to feed and they’re looking for different things…”

“Yeah, and who are your customers?” The customer interrupted.

But the chef continued, “and besides which, we have nutritional targets we need to hit. You need a balanced soup.”

What seemed like common sense to the chef certainly wasn’t to the customer. “Your nutritional advisors thought potatoes were poison until two weeks ago! How can you talk to me about balance? Last week you included kale in all your salads until we all woke up and realized it causes head explosions.”

The chef knew where this all led. She had been involved in many such conversations. It was part of the job and yet the kitchen depended on her moving on. “We were as surprised as everyone else about the kale. We have learnt the lessons and changed our recipes.”

The customer looked indignant, “The dangers were all known! Don’t tell me you didn’t know.”

The chef suddenly looked tired. “Look, I got into culinary school because I like making things for people not because I’m a scientist. People come, they order, I barely get home before midnight much less have the time to sort through all the science. I wouldn’t understand it if I did. Enough people enjoy the soup to keep the restaurant open. That’s my job. I am sorry if you don’t like the soup.”

The customer had much more to say, but just then someone called from another table, “Excuse me, Chef, but this soup needs more onion.”

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