negotiating restaurant life in a wheelchair
This may come as a surprise to some, but certainly not to anyone who has known me for any duration, but I’m kind of obsessed with food and wine. As a tiny tater tot, I used to swipe my mom’s Bon Appétit Magazines and pore over the styled photos that evoked a cozy world of perfectly seared tenderloins and glistening bowls of compotes. I studied the recipes and supplemented my self-instruction by forgoing the usual Saturday morning cartoons for cooking shows on PBS. But it was the wine guides that flummoxed me in the most amazing way possible. My little grey cells churned and pondered over the descriptions. I looked at my glass of Welch’s and wondered what work of alchemy could transform its sickly purpleness into a beverage worthy of the poetic tributes penned in my mother’s magazines.
Those ruminations would eventually lead me to this exact moment, this precise place in life.
Breaking into the world of fine dining isn’t the easiest thing, full stop, but when you’re in a wheelchair, it’s…well…I’ll just say it’s been a bit challenging, and leave it at that. But like anything, it doesn’t matter if you get a thousand rejections, or if a million people tell you that you can’t do something, or if hundreds of doors slam shut in your face — what matters is that you stay in the game and keep going until that one damned door stays open long enough to push your way inside.
And that’s where we are.