I’ve enjoyed reading the restaurant reviews, recipes, and culinary tips on Pittsburgh Hot Plate for a couple of months now. Who are these two interesting writers? What are they really like when they’re not shielded with the anonymity offered by the Internet? Well, I KNOW BOTH OF ‘EM!
First of all, both Chef Kerber and Katie Lane are beautiful people; both inside and out. Kerber’s blue eyes rival Paul Newman’s (sigh!) and his quick smile is very disarming. Katie’s small, delicate frame effuses a grace and femininity from an era before either of these two was born. They’re attractive, good looking folks who don’t take themselves too seriously….until you get to the work part.
Both perfectionists, both Type A personalities, both fiercely competitive. What they manage to do is complement each other (not verbally, well maybe sarcastically) but professionally. We all work together and keep each other laughing at least eight hours a day.
Chef Chuck starts his day at 6am, Katie Lane starts hers at 8. Chuck is a dervish in his kitchen ~ knives tapping against cutting board, pans sizzling, ovens blazing. He does EVERYTHING himself: menu planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, and serving. He’s a machine with only two speeds; off and on. No middle with Chuck.
Katie manages a client service department balancing administrative work with customer service duties. Our staff and clients love her because of her wonderful attitude, cheerful disposition and …. She’s in charge of all the goodies….cakes, pies, cookies, candy, chips, fruit. Another team player that does EVERYTHING herself.
Both are perfectly suited to the work they do. And both are perfectly suited to work together.
Now, the dirt: Both are practical jokesters. They act like brother and sister and relish one-upping each other. I live in fear on April Fool’s Day. That’s just an invitation to disaster. But they practice punking each other on an almost-daily basis. There’s the usual throwing stuff at each other, affectionate name-calling and endless teasing. It can escalate to obscene texting (when they think the old lady –that’s me-) isn’t around.
To date, there’s never been anything done, said, or written that wasn’t taken with the best of humor, but the line has blurred once or twice. They’re fiercely loyal to each other and will rush to each other’s defense when someone’s integrity or competence has been questioned. I can’t really tell you what goes on when I’m not around, but the united front is rare, appreciated and sacred.
I guess it’s true, what goes on in the kitchen stays in the kitchen.
Written by: Mari Bar