Chances are you've dined in a restaurant where a basket of bread is served at your table.
Sometimes you indulge if you're really hungry and other times it just takes up space on the table.
Have you ever put thought into the philosophy of that basket, its contents and its accompaniments?
Most establishments don't, and I can pretty much guarantee you can not only tell by just looking at it which ones do. But have YOU given it any thought?
If you haven't, I suggest you listen to the great Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York City.
Not only should your breadbasket be taken seriously, but there's even room for pairing bread with the meal you order.
It's more than just flour and yeast, you see.
I've worked in places where we didn't care about the concept of, "bread on the table," and in others were bread was baked every day and people LOVED it. Granted it was cheese covered focaccia served with dipping olive oil infused with herbs and garlic. But it was something that needed to go on each and every table for our guests.
Bread can be a wonderful thing. Anyone who has a true appreciation for cuisine will tell you as much.
The restaurants nowadays that do still put a breadbasket out for diners should take it seriously, because, as Le Bernardin has shown, can be much more than just filler.