Day in the Life: Mesob vs. Beauty and the Bistro
photo zach bauman
Cherven Desauguste never pictured himself becoming a chef, but the universe had other plans. At their restaurant Mesob, the Haitian chef and his partner Mehret Tesfamariam, a self-taught chef who hails from Eritrea, are foodie ambassadors to the Caribbean and Ethiopia. On a rare slow day, Desauguste gave us a peek into a day in the life of Mesob.
10:00 a.m. - Chef Cherven Desauguste has been up since 9 a.m. He wouldn’t call himself a morning person, but he’s always willing to do what it takes for the restaurant. Once he arrives at Mesob he turns on the lights, wells, steam tables and ovens. After double-checking that everything is in order, he starts calling his purveyors.
12:15 p.m. - Cherven jumps into his work emails and replies to event catering requests. He places orders for special events, as well as the seafood — his specialty — for the menu. “I look at seafood as something that is very delicate, something that is unique,” he says. “It can be ‘easy like Sunday morning’ like the Commodores said. Whatever it is I think about creating, it’s almost always already in my head. I just have to bring it to life.”
2:44 p.m. - The chef makes a trip to Restaurant Depot, which looks like a Costco on steroids. Since Mesob is a smaller restaurant and because Cherven is all about freshness and not wasting food, he shops in small batches.
3:40 p.m. - He schedules the restaurant’s live music acts for next year. In addition to the cuisine, Mesob also hosts live music acts every third Saturday of the month.
4:37 p.m. - The restaurant begins prepping for the dinner crowd. The majority of Cherven’s day consists of prepping for the weekend.
5:40 p.m. - The dinner crowd starts to trickle in, with the first customers being regulars.
10:00 p.m. - Mesob closes and the kitchen clean up begins, followed by mopping and putting dishes away before closing out the front of the house employees.
11:30 p.m. - Cherven heads home after everyone else clocks out. Despite how busy the day is, his red chef’s coat stays surprisingly clean. He says that while working at the Argosy Casino, his cook used to tease him about how clean he stays.
3:00 a.m. - The chef finally heads to bed.
photo sidney fish
BEAUTY AND THE BISTRO
Sidney Fish always loved growing and creating delicious food. In 2012 she found the quickest way to Kansas City’s heart — through its stomach, with her food truck, Beauty of the Bistro. Now, five years later the roaming carte du jour is a fan fave; crafting from scratch, flavor-packed gourmet burgers, tacos, sandwiches and other bites, made from the freshest ingredients.
7:15 a.m. - Sidney Fish gets out of bed. The night before, she and her team prepped enough food and supplies to get them through their week of events.
8:45 a.m. - With cousin and employee Jendra in tow, they arrive at the kitchen and begin prepping for the first stop of the day. “There are a lot of times I’ll be here till like one in the morning prepping, because I don’t want to be here so early the next day. ‘Cause if I don’t, then I’m laying in my bed thinking.”
9:55 a.m. - Sidney and Jendra unplug the truck and head to their first stop at 19898 Metcalf Ave. Sidney, who grew up in the Stilwell area and still lives there, has been doing this lunch stop since she started Beauty of the Bistro in 2012. Her crew is made up of seven rotating employees.
11:00 a.m. - The windows open for lunchtime. A line has started to form before they open and the crew finds themselves slammed. Watching them work in the cramped space is like marveling at a perfectly choreographed ballet. The truck slowly rocks with their every move, but none of them lose their footing.
2:22 p.m. - Fish and Jendra head back to the kitchen to clean out the truck, wash dishes, restock, make more mac and cheese and slice more buns.
4:14 p.m. - The crew begins to set up for the second event of the day; a Leawood Chamber of Commerce get-together hosted at Mercedes Benz of Kansas City. On days when the Beauty and the Bistro has multiple events, Sidney grabs dinner on the truck.
5:00 p.m. - Windows open once more. At this stop, Jendra takes orders and convinces customers to venture outside of their comfort zone, while Sidney works the grill..
7:27 p.m. - Sidney and Jendra arrive back at the kitchen. They wash the dishes, clean the kitchen in the truck, fill the water tank and mop the floors. Afterward they take inventory and restock for the lunch event the next day.
12:30 a.m. - Sidney finally climbs into bed. If she can’t sleep she'll research recipes.