The twelfth day of Christmas dawned with a second wind of excitement at The Restaurant at Meadowood.
When I arrived at the kitchen in the morning, as I did every day of this dinner series, the cooks seemed to move with the efficiency and confidence of having their home field back. In the days leading up to this last dinner, Christopher Kostow and his team had, essentially, been working in eleven different kitchens with eleven different personalities, and learning eleven different styles of management, workflow, and plating.
But on this last day, with all of the guest chefs gone, the staff seemed to fall back into their familiar corners and routine. The kitchen hummed along; leaner, quieter, calmer.
As Perry Como crooned about a white Christmas on the speakers, I plugged in at my usual perch at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my Model Bakery English muffin.