Last Thursday night found me on the 11th floor of the Jackson Downtown Marriott Hotel. While I enjoyed my room service meal of chicken milanese, with baby broccoli in beurre blanc, and smashed potatoes, I could not help but wonder what the meal would have been like had I dined there years ago when Chef Nick Wallace was in the kitchen. My room service waiter was graciously courteous, asking “May I come in? Where would you like me to place your tray? Shall I pour your wine for you?” I am not a snob (I pour my own wine all the time), and I have a golden rule of treating service staff with respect and courtesy (whether it is the cranky person at Subway or a tuxedoed staff at a really nice restaurant), but it made me feel very nurtured and appreciated after what has been a difficult time for the past several weeks.
I opened the drapes–my usual action when I am in a room with a view out, but not in, and savored the evening sunset. Later after working a while on the assessment report due the following day while I had to be in Jackson representing the MS chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, I decided one more nurturing experience was in order…and shortly thereafter, my impeccable and tuxedoed waiter from earlier was bearing a tray with a chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a single-serving carafe of white wine. I confess; I wondered what dessert would have been from a tractor-driving Chef Wallace. But hey, one of these days, I will eat at his table and be able to answer the question for myself.