The case of the disappearing salt shakerJune 28, 2018 by Darcie
Something is missing from more and more restaurants in the United States, and it’s not politicians. The trend has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with confidence. Across the country, chefs are removing salt and pepper shakers from their tables. This practice is occurring across the spectrum of restaurants, from fine dining to more casual eateries.
While the nation’s top restaurants long ago removed the shakers, until the last few years you could usually find salt and pepper at every table in most other establishments. The reasons vary – some chefs feel that the food they serve is seasoned to perfection, while others are more focused on the table setting, preferring a cleaner look.
Steve Cook, who along with chef Michael Solomonov, co-owns Zahav and other restaurants, said not offering salt has more to do with providing “flawless hospitality” than anything else. “When that food leaves the kitchen, it’s to be ready to eat. The guest shouldn’t have to do anything,” he said. “We’re not doing our job if the food isn’t coming out seasoned just right.”
The amount of salt needed for optimal results can be difficult to pinpoint. Since taste is subjective, one person’s ‘too salty’ is another diner’s ‘just right’. Steve Cook says “When we were naming our cookbook, we joked about calling it Zahav: Loud, Dark and Salty,” he said. “Those are the complaints we get. It would probably be more useful to some of our guests if we put salt remover on the table.”
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