Neither shocked nor awed

At least the Big Homme was gracious enough to let me be invited to his meet-the-staffs lunch, and I’ll be base enough to say they were best new chefs of my year. I was mostly glad I went for the opportunity to ask some questions I might be intimidated to blurt out at a real party, like: How hard is it for a foreigner to get a visa to work in an organization that clearly prefers foreigners? (Answer: Harder all the time.) Mostly I came away feeling glad I had a couple of dollars to tip the coat check girl: Our currency is worth less than pesos. The BH rep at my table said everyone at late dinner at Daniel the Saturday before was either French, Spanish or British, and some had flown in just for the weekend because America is now the 99-cent store of countries. I guess that explains the boom in $40-and-up entrees even in restaurants in my neighborhood. Which is great: The Cubans get iPhones and Americans get Chili’s.