At Your Service – Midnight Menu +1 – It’s New Orleans
We often refer to the restaurant world as “the service industry” but the people who actually serve are mostly relegated to the role of functionary – simply a necessary conduit between the real stars of dining: the chef and the person bestowing the food with appreciation or approbation. However, there are servers in the service industry who take their role far more seriously and understand the place of context, presentation, and a whole range of psychological cues most of us are not aware of that contribute to a dining out experience.
Argyle Wolf Knapp is New Orleans consummate server. Holding court at Commander’s Palace Argyle is the zen master of service. His appearance somewhere between a colonial British colonel and Buddha befits the role he plays as the master of an army of servers and an ever-smiling source of calm in a tumultuous and demanding business.
Argyle’s +1 on tonight’s show is both an acolyte and an eccentric in his own right. Going by the one-word moniker Tree, or sometimes Tree Tree if two names are required, Tree/Mr. Tree jumped ship in New Orleans from serving on cruise ships after he fell under Argyle’s service spell.
Both men have, in the true New Orleans style, whole other lives. Argyle is completing a book about the history of New Orleans beer brewing, and Tree is Garden District tour guide with a unique trail for tourists.