“Here. You’re overdue,” a familiar voice said. I turned to be hit in the face with a black t-shirt tossed across the office by Chef. Soft, 100% spun cotton, black, xxl. Sweet- I got my Bloodshirt. On the back, the familiar stamp “Cuisine Commandos.” On the front, the famous insignia of Slightly North of Broad. Myself, my partner in crime and collaborator Tim Pettit and General Manager / Resident – Ass – Kicker – in – Charge Katie Hajjar all got them that day.
There’s a long history to the blood shirt. Given to recognize those that eat, drink, sleep and live the esprit de corps of the team at Slightly North of Broad, the Bloodshirt is the embodiment of all things Maverick: the rhythm of mis en place, putting things where they live, gentle pressure, relentlessly applied. Tim, Katie and I represent just a few outside the SNOB fold to have received the honor. Every Friday, current and former Maverick cooks represent the corps by wearing our Bloodshirts.
Beyond recognizing the accomplishments of an individual, membership in Cuisine Commandos recognizes what the team of the former Maverick group- Slightly North of Broad, High Cotton, Old Village Post House and High Cotton Greenville have all accomplished together. At a time when debate rages about quality of life, staffing and the culture of the kitchen, my Bloodshirt sends a message: 20+ years in, and what we’re all doing is till relevant.