EUGENE, Ore. - SFIZIO over at Oakway Center in Eugene recently made a change becoming Ox and Fin.
While the name may seem like the most significant change, the creation of a new menu will make calling a rose by a new name seem really simple.
I'll admit, from the time I received the invitation to the final menu tasting to the time I stepped into the newly organized kitchen, I'd gone through more than a dozen different scenarios on how to approach this story. However, as soon as I stepped into the discombobulating ballet that is an operating restaurant kitchen, all of them went immediately out the window.
My confusion on where exactly to point the camera came not from a lack of possibilities, but the overwhelming amount of activity all around. Not one person doing anything other than passionately pursuing perfection. Doing it for themselves, and of course Chef Andy Stone. The man in charge of the change, at least when it comes to the menu.
The making of a menu is no small task, but Chef Stone has taken recipes he's made throughout his years as a chef and tossed in a couple of off the cuff creations. Wanting to make sure frequent visitors of SFIZIO find some familiarity while also making it his own.
Then again, calling the menu at Ox and Fin a result of Chef Stone alone would be a rather large mistake. As each dish is completed it's tasted. Not just by Stone, but by the entire crew. Tested, tasted and repeated again. No suggestion from anyone going unheard. A display of teamwork that any sports organization would be jealous of.
The process didn't stop with the kitchen staff either. Once they were happy with each plating they gave the servers and hosts the same courtesy. Giving them the opportunity to offer up even more input, and jot down some notes of their own so they can greet customers with information and not ignorance.
Maybe it's a love of food or even just the job itself, but it is clear that Chef Stone truly enjoys what he is doing. So when he tells me that for him it is all about putting smiles of peoples faces I have no reservations when it comes to believing him.