Chefs with Issues: The politics of restaurant reservations
July 8th, 2013
08:00 AM ET
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Editor's Note: Kelly English is the chef/owner of Restaurant Iris in Memphis, Tennessee. English was named one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs in 2009. In 2010, he was named a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast.

At three o'clock on a Friday afternoon, like clockwork, my phone starts to ring. It is one of my friends from college; he forgot his anniversary and needs a table tonight. I am forced to tell him one of my least favorite things: No. It's not in a chef's DNA to tell people "no" - we hire front-of-house people for that.

“We have known each other for years, you must be able to put me somewhere,” he said.

I really wish I could.

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