Ready, set, read


Setting the Table by Danny Meyer is neither an etiquette book nor a foody memoir. The author is the owner-operator of eleven successful New York restaurants, and he serves up some tasty anecdotes, but the main course is a generous helping of business advice. The book’s perfectly-prepared tagline is: The transforming power of hospitality in business.

I heard Danny Meyer interviewed on NPR in 2007 and was intrigued enough to check his book out of the library. The more I read, the greater it got. It became the book I talked about the most in 2008. Do you sense that I am recommending it to you now?

I refer to the author as Danny, not on a presumption of familiarity, but because that’s how the flap text refers to him. Danny thinks his philosophy of “enlightened hospitality” is the foundation of his every success. I think it is relevant for any table, any stage, any interaction. His idea is a giant leap above “service,” and I am trying {albeit inkuhnsistently} to practice it. You can also listen to Setting the Table, though not, I think, when you are hungry.

Speaking of transformative tables, here are before and after photos of the Craft Tuffet at my last birthday party, wrapped and beribboned by bookbinder Bari Zaki. Ready, set, stamp.

Photo credits: 2 – Bari Zaki, 3 – Michael Osborne

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by la dauphinoise on 03.27.09 at 9:04 am

    Actually Aly, I beg to differ. While you did yak at length about this book, the one which held truly transformative sway over your visual world was Creole Thrift.

    Interesting to see Bari’s shot of the pre-party table – I however recall a swarm of adults elbowing as politely as they could to embellish their clever cahiers.

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