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"Turning Disappointments into Motivation: Basque in Excellence"

As life happens, disappointment surely happens along the way and sometimes rears it's ugly head more frequently than not. The inception of something wonderful and grand takes root in our minds and hearts prior to any business growing or emerging from our blood, sweat, and tears. We were so inspired by an idea, a kernel that was planted in our gray matter, or something that was already germinating within us. When a mechanic drives a car or test drives a used vehicle prior to purchasing it--he or she may pop the hood and listen or may turn off the A/C and radio and open the windows to hear what the car is saying--vis a vie how the engines vibrates and those funny sounds that break the cadence. They may break hard or accelerate at a moment's notice to test out things. In any event, calling a fine tuned certified vehicle that has passed a 125 point inspection protocol checklist road worthy of the price is what dealerships advertise. Sometimes it's lacking a few things you want and you still sit down and spend your afternoon negotiating until you feel good about the deal and can pull the trigger and save face before you sign your life away. For me, it's how things are packaged beyond the eye candy appeal. We are immediately attracted to what we see--then we explore to see if it is as good as we think it is.

For me, food is the same way. Beyond reading Yelp or Google reviews, we are all looking for that outlier written by a discerning foodie that bucks the kumbaya reviews everyone is giving of the new neighborhood bistro. Sometimes we throw caution to the wind and say screw it--I'm curious about it and will explore Happy Hour there with some snacks and drinks. In any case, we make either a calculated decision based on a referral or wanna have something to say to our friends and colleagues about the new joint that opened up.

If I tried the new local coffee shop (not Starbucks) that opened up near my house and said the coffee sucked and tasted too peaty or was burnt--I'd be more disappointed because they are called an actual coffee shop and there should be skilled baristas offering up tasty cups of Joe all through the day. If I went to a local burger joint and the burgers were tasteless, greasy, and overdone I'd be just as disappointed and would want my order redone to my liking or maybe completely refunded. I always say---I'm a simple man--just don't mess up my coffee and burger. It's a pithy quote but I guess it means so much more. I find there all all types of breakfast establishments that can't get eggs right and I make them way better. Sometimes I forget to tell them I want my omelet to be 'soft'. Oftentimes the egg dish is brought to the table overdone. And, furthermore, eggs are unforgiving as any food item there is as a mere 10 seconds turns them dry, pale, and lack luster in looks and flavor--a total turnoff for me. Some newbie chefs are still tested in how they can make an omelet prior to working in a fine establishment. I know why.

So, not long ago I found myself at a national chain with the name 'Cheesecake' in the title. The food is consistent and you would assume the various derivations of cheesecakes and pseudo non traditional cheesecake offerings would pass the smell test more often than not. I noticed Basque Cheesecake surround in an ornate black rectangular box and was the only type of cheesecake that was separated from the bunch like this. I was curious about it and to be honest, prior to arriving at this restaurant, was researching how to make the best Basque Cheesecake I could make. My girlfriend and I decided to give it a go and unfortunately the visual presentation raised red flags as it was structurally perfect having a sharp tip at the small end of the triangle slice and perfectly shaped. This type of cheesecake is supposed to ooze unctuousness, moistness, and look rustic in form--not perfectly shaped like it was sitting in a mold. Upon tasting a fork full, my suspicions were confirmed as the corporate kitchen had put too much flour or binder agent in it as it wasn't creamy and moist--especially the further you got from the center. We didn't inform management but took the nearly $12 hit and chalked it up.

I, however, was inspired by this disappointing experience--to create the best Basque Cheesecake I could fashion from scratch not cutting corners and only using premium ingredients: including free range eggs, great vanilla, and fresh cream. The results blew me away. Kent's Basque Cheesecake passes the smell test and will stay on our formulary because we know our discerning patrons want something special that they can't get anywhere else. When you know---you just KNOW. Food brings people together and our cakes and now cheesecake will bring a lot of people together. From our kitchen to your table. Share the love!

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