September 15, 2010 INTERN-SPECTIVE: KRAZY FOR KOMBUCHA?
It’s been three weeks since the last post, and all I have to report to you is that we’ve still got building inspectors to impress, a Grand Opening to prepare for (pending inspections), a soft launch to recuperate from, and some kombucha brewing in our kitchen.
Did my move to Austin set me back a few years? I had no idea that—along with coconut water and Blue Bottle coffee—kombucha might be the first words San Franciscans teach their infants. Some folks claim that kombucha helps promote weight loss or is capable of curing cancer.
Kombucha is a fermented tea produced through a symbiotic relationship between a kombucha culture/mother (or SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and bacteria. The culture itself feels like a thick, leathery pancake. The kombucha mother culture is placed in a tea highly concentrated with sugar and then feeds off the sugar for at least 10 days. The process turns the tea into a drink concentrated in acids and nutrients.
After some in-house training with a local kombuchaseur the Summit’s got its own kombucha house-brew on the way that will possibly be a regular feature on the menu. I can’t promise we’re serving any cancer blasters or that you’ll have Halle Berry’s abs drinking our house formulation, but kombucha is a step up from the ordinary iced tea or coffee. The initial sip shocks the palate with prominent acidic flavors layered with subtle sweet tones. Someone described kombucha as an exotic, effervescent rose water. If I can’t convince you to give our kombucha a try, would it matter if I told you Lindsay Lohan drinks the stuff?
Kombucha news might not be exciting, but the news I do have to offer is the soft opening we just wrapped up this past weekend. Two months have passed since I started my internship with the Summit, and three days ago I had my a shot at working in a professional kitchen for the very first time. If you ask me to describe the work that goes into launching a restaurant I have three words: f*****g hard work. And that’s coming from the girl who’s just the intern. I don’t recall a weekend the Summit managers weren’t here to clean or build out the space, which now looks like this:
We haven’t had a Grand Opening to prove that the hard work’s paid off, but we did have a full attendance that had food orders coming faster than the kitchen could prepare them, more plates to push out than our runners could keep track of, and a shortage of food even before closing (we still find ourselves apologizing to the friends and family whose orders weren’t fulfilled). We hope that the feedback and positive support we received from this weekend’s soft opening resonates with the response we’ll get once the Summit opens to the public. Pictures of the soft launch are on their way. In the meantime, I’m on my way to chant to the Grand Opening Gods to pray we pass the next building inspection and that the Opening I sniffed out four weeks ago takes place soon…
– MISS U