Job perk

Newspapers do restaurant reviews. Most often, a few of the more popular plates of food are photographed to go with the story. I have done this at pizza places and five star restaurants. This week, I photographed a new Oak Park spot called Barclay’s Grille. The chef there whipped up 11 different meals for me to photograph. Duck drummettes, New York strip steak with barbecued mashed sweet potatoes, pretzel-crusted rainbow trout, and bananas foster creme brulee to name a few.

In most cases, the chef or manager has offered me the food after I shoot the photos. I always decline. Free food and professional journalism don’t jive in my world. I slipped up and ate at a few NFL and college basketball games years ago and still regret it. Since then, I have made a point to avoid eating free food on the job.

At Barclays, the kitchen staff reveled in a brief break from work as they gulped down the meals. Well deserved since their hard work went into cooking them. I snapped a photo of the staff eating at their makeshift dinner table. Bon Appetit!

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