People who’ve never been to one often mistake the special event fancy restaurant dinners reported in the social pages of the newspapers as the high life. Usually, they’re far closer to low-key and very definitely work, not play, events, and for good reasons: the sponsor normally puts up as few bottles of whatever they’re promoting as they can get away with; the restaurant wait staff don’t bend over backwards to serve tables that aren’t going to be presented with a bill and, ergo, won’t be tipping; and the chef generally uses the opportunity to clear his larder of as many slow-moving or cheap inputs as he can, resulting in dishes like, “Cassava Flour Gnocchi in a Peanut Butter Reduction with Flecks of Orange Marmalade”; it’s almost a given that the chef won’t throw quail into one of those dinners. Usually, you go to these things and hope to get at least enough to drink to ease the frustration of waiting too long for a meal, the highpoint of which is that, on the weary drive home, you tell yourself that at least you didn’t have to pay for it.
Last night’s Patron dinner at Cin Cin on Barbados’ West Coast was as far from that as sardines are from scallops. When I’m not supporting Trinidad & Tobago or Barbados in CONCACAF football, I support Mexico – and I wouldn’t be surprised