The year was 1995, I was fresh out of Culinary School and needed a job. My first job, I was hired by 212 Market Restaurant, Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Little did I know the lessons that lay ahead of me. I just wanted to be a chef.
I worked for three ladies, Maggie, Susan and Sally Moses. They each had their place in the business, but also each one could pick up where the other one left off and finish the job. I just “thought” I learned work ethic out on the farm working for my dad, and I did, but I learned so much more from these amazing women.
We ran the cleanest kitchen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but I would put it up against any kitchen anywhere for that. If we weren’t cooking we were cleaning. Always busy, never idle. Mrs. Moses (that is what we called Maggie), was always working, but on watch to make sure we were doing our job as well.
Sally Moses ran the “front of the house”. In the restaurant business thats everything from the host, to servers, to bartender, etc. Susan Moses ran the “back of the house”. She was the main executive chef of the restaurant. Mrs. Maggie Moses could usually be found in the office tending to business side. But don’t let all 0f that fool you. Any one of them could take the job of anyone who called in sick. I saw each one of them serve tables, wash dishes, run the pantry (where salads and desserts are assembled), take a shift on the grill or sauté side of the main kitchen line. I saw each one of them turn out fresh bread for the day or the featured dessert for the evening. Just an amazing group of women to work for and to learn from.
I do remember one time in the four and half years I worked for them, I called in. It snowed up on Signal Mountain, where I lived and I wanted to play in the snow with my family. I knew the restaurant would not be busy that day. I knew I was not really needed. I also knew it was REALLY frowned upon to “call in” and say you could not make it…especially to Mrs. Maggie Moses who NEVER missed a day of work 🙂 I called in that day. I returned to work the next day and Ohhh she, Mrs. Moses, gave me a hard time. I am pretty sure I remember her first words were, “you could have made it to work yesterday couldn’t you”. I just kinda shrugged and smiled and didn’t say much. I never did it again.
Mrs. Maggie Moses passed away last week. I didn’t see her often, but I am very thankful the Good Lord led me to go by a few months ago and stop in and see her and the girls. She was busy busy working the same as always. I cherish my memories and the friendships I made at 212 Market Restaurant. RIP Mrs. Moses.
If you would like to read more about Mrs. Moses I have some links copied below. She led an amazing life.