Celebrities I've Served Food To
Here's a fun blog entry I’d originally posted on Myspace back in 2004. Remember Myspace? Good times.
CELEBRITIES I'VE SERVED FOOD TO
A list compiled by long-time food server Daniel J. Cartier.
"Can I get you folks anything else?"
For a long time I supplemented my income by waiting tables. For anyone who's traveled this arduous - often soul exhausting path, I salute you. To anyone who continues to serve the hungry masses, you have my utmost respect. Having served food for years, I know how difficult a job it can be. If you're reading this, and you have a shift later on today, please know I'm sending you love. Don't let that asshole at table 15 get to you. He's not worth it.
I was thinking about my own career as a food server, and realize I've waited on many well-known people.
For anyone who's interested, here's a very incomplete list of....
CELEBRITIES I'VE WAITED ON!
1. Roseanne: I actually just got her a menu. It was years before the Twitter fiasco. She was friendly.
2. Billy Crystal: Really nice guy. He gave me a $100 tip. He kept telling jokes and asking me if he looked bloated.
3. Arthur Miller: The whole time I wanted to ask him what being married to Marilyn Monroe was like. Can you imagine? The owner of the restaurant gave his table a rare bottle of champagne. It was a zillion years old and had been sitting on a top shelf forever. The cork had expanded so much, not even the big bouncer (yes - the restaurant had bouncers) could get the damn thing open. I made Mr. Miller’s whole table laugh as I described the bouncer hunched over, with the bottle between his legs as he tried to pry it open with a corkscrew.
4. Madonna: Ok, I didn't actually wait on her. It was a catered event, but I did get to watch her nibble on some hor d'oeuvres from across a crowded room.
5. Prince: Good lord … where do I even BEGIN? Well, for starters, I couldn't talk directly to him. I had to take his order via an assistant, who then relayed my question to another assistant, who then whispered it to one of his bodyguards, who whispered it to Mayte (the belly dancer who Prince was married to at the time). She pow-wowed with him in hushed tones before whispering back to the bodyguard (who in turn whispered to the assistant who whispered it to the other assistant who finally whispered it to me.
The result? They got a bottle of water. At least they were hydrated.
Rock on Great Purple One!
6. Julia Roberts: She sat with her back to the dining room and wore a fedora. I think she wanted to be incognito. Her friend did all the ordering.
7. Cindy Crawford: She was so NICE! I actually loved waiting on her - and she's beautiful in person. She literally glows. She asked me all about the tattoos on my head. Honestly, I had no idea who she was. I figured she was just a really nice, very glamorous lady.
I talked to her and her dinner guests for quite awhile. After they left, the whole waitstaff came up and was asking me questions like "What she nice? What was she like?”. I was like, "What was WHO like?" . They were like "Cindy Crawford!”. I was all like, "How the Hell should I know?"
Then it dawned on me - and I was like, "Oh her? We're BFFs now. "
8. Mira Sorvino: She was reading a script, and laughing occasionally at some of the lines she'd just read.
9. Aimee Mann: She was being interviewed over lunch. It was a few days before she performed her brilliant song “Save Me” at The Academy Awards. Phil Collins wound up winning Best Song for a ridiculously schmaltzy ballad from some movie I can’t even remember - proving once and for all that Award Shows are dumb. I told her that I was a big fan, and that I remembered her from way back before she was in Till Tuesday. Back when she sang for a Boston band called The Young Snakes. She was gracious and said 'Thanks’.
10. Cloe Sevigny: I think she was on a lunch date with some rock-n-roll guy. He asked me about my tattoos on my head. They were both nice.
11. Carrot Top: He didn't bring any props to lunch. I'm grateful for that.
12. Rosanna Arquette: I fucked up her order, but she was nice about it.
13. Robert Downey Jr: Be still my heart. Can I marry him? He was so nice! His friends paid the bill, and tipped me really well. Everyone got up and left. I was happy, and psyched that I got to wait on one of my favorite actors. That would have been enough for me - but the story gets BETTER!
About 10 minutes later Robert Downey Jr. came back into the restaurant alone and GAVE ME ANOTHER $40! He "wasn't sure if his friends had left enough money" and wanted to make sure I was compensated fairly. I thanked him profusely...looked for a moment into those big puppy-dog eyes and fell in love. He is literally one of the dreamiest (and apparently one of the most considerate) dudes on the planet.
14. Patrick Stewart: Didn't talk much.
15. Toby McGuire: He ate almost every day at the trendy Hollywood coffeehouse I worked at in LA. I think he was a silent partner. We even had an item on the menu called the Toby Special. It was spinach,brown rice, and chicken all mixed up with cheddar cheese. It was actually really good - especially with hot sauce. He was actually a really nice, down to earth guy, and would always ask me how I was doing and if I was "playing out anywhere" .
16. Leonardo Decaprio: Said nothing. He was absorbed with his phone and his friends did all the ordering,. They (his friends) were kind of rude, but that can often be the case. The celebrity is usually nice (which was I'm sure the case with Mr. DeCaprio) - but the members of a celebrity "posse" are usually difficult.
I call it the "fabulous by association" disorder, i.e. "I'm not the one who's actually famous - but I'm WITH a famous person, so to compensate for my own lack of fame, I'm going to be extra bossy and self important to everyone I come in contact with."
This general rule of thumb also applies to many "kind of famous" or "famous for one second" people (reality show contestants, slightly recognizable singers, actors or models, etc.) They can often be difficult to deal with as well. My theory is, when someone is "almost famous" it can be frustrating - so once again to over compensate for their lack of superstardom they become kind of asshol-y to servers. Not ALL quasi celebs mind you. Just some.
17. Helena Christiansen: She was really super nice...liked my tattoos. Yay!
18. Charlie Gibson: He used to come into Contrast, the restaurant I worked at on Cape Cod.
19. Matt Daemon and Ben Affleck: They came into the aforementioned Hollywood coffeehouse I worked at together, for an early morning business breakfast with some guy.
20. Sean Penn: Actually someone else waited on him, but I brought him some water.
21. Drew Barrymore: All she got was water. She has beautiful skin though. She reminded me of a porcelain (spelling? ) doll.
22. Iliana Douglas: I actually knew her when I waited on her, which was kinda' cool. She came into the place I was working and was all like, "Hi Daniel" and then she had a lunch meeting with someone. I used to know lots of famous people through my ex-boyfriend Craig (who's a total sweetheart to this day). They were his acting friends from back in the day, so naturally they stuck with him after the breakup. That being said, I have some great memories of hanging out with them. Craig and I may not have lasted as an item, but he was (and is) a great guy. He's the one who gave me my wonderful dog Miss Banjo, who became the love of my life, and transformed me into a "dog person". For that I will always be grateful. If you're reading this Craig - big hugs to you always!
23. Parker Posey: Same as Iliana - I knew her through my ex boyfriend Craig. She came into the restaurant I was working at in NYC (Cafe Floreaunt) on rollerblades (yes, rollerblades) and got a cappuccino. I made one for myself as well and sat at her table and talked with her.
She's one of Craig's best friends (they even share the same birthday) so naturally after the breakup I never spoke to her again, but I have wonderful memories of getting to know her. She is just like you'd expect her to be in person; funny, kooky and totally mesmerizing. I'm still a massive fan, and get a kick out of the fact that I used to know her. Craig and I even subletted her apartment when we lived in LA. Miss Banjo (who was a puppy at the time) chewed up a bunch of her furniture. Bad dog!
24. Rufus Wainright: Poor Rufus. I was going through a tough time when I served brunch to him and his friends one busy Sunday in Hollywood. They sat in my section and I was slammed. I was happy to see him. He's a brilliant musician, and we kind of know each other though music channels. At that point, my music career was at an all-time low. I'd lost my record deal, and had moved out to California to start my career over. After some typical Hollywood Music Biz disappointments, I was broke and waiting tables on Sunset Strip.
As I waited on Rufus and his friends, I started mentally comparing my life to his. He was playing Carnegie Hall and touring the world, and I was covered in breakfast food serving him food. I decided my life sucked. I know... it's lame to do stuff like that, but I was doing it nonetheless. For his part, he was sincerely nice. He said "Hi Daniel" and asked me if I was still singing.
The question made me sad. Sunday brunch is a brutal shift, and I was standing at his table covered in splattered eggs, spilled coffee and bacon grease. I was exhausted, smelled like french fries, and hadn't been doing anything with my music. I was too busy waiting-tables and paying bills.
"I don't sing anymore" I blurted out abruptly. "I gave it up. Nobody was listening, so what’s the point?"
There was an uncomfortable silence at his table, so I added, "What can I get you guys?"
I felt so bad about my behavior afterward. I mean - the poor guy couldn’t have been nicer, and I responded by comparing my life to his, and being all pissy. I sincerely hope I didn't freak him out. It's not like my music woes were his fault. I guess we all have moments we'd like to "do over". That particular moment is one for me. Sorry Rufus! You’re amazing. I love your music and I appreciate how nice you were to me that day.
25. Issac Mizrahi: I wasn't his waiter...but he was nice. He asked me to get his waiter cause they needed the check...so I did.
26. Anthony Keides: He's really nice. I waited on him all the time out in L.A, and he always asked me about my music. Cool guy.
27. Dave Navarro: Same thing. He always came in to where I worked in LA and was nice.
28. Wesley Snipes: Came into where I worked in New York and we had to stay open really late because he was with a lady friend.
29. Neve Campbell: She wasn't in my section, but I got her a napkin.
30. Matt Dillon: He's really cute on film. He's even cuter in person. I waited on him 3 times. He came into the place I worked in LA all the time.
31. Elijah Wood: I waited on him in both New York and Hollywood. Amazing skin. No lines. No pores. I'm a little jealous... but figure it must be some weird Hobbit spell that makes him look this way.
32. N-synch: I mean... I THINK it was N-Synch...but it might have been The Backstreet Boys. I really couldn't tell you. They'd all bought really expensive watches and were talking about them to one another.
BEFORE I CONTINUE I MUST MAKE ONE THING CLEAR.
I have waited on countless sports figures, models, TV anchor people, and reality show contestants - too many to list. Some examples might be a model from a Gucci ad, or that crazy blonde lady from “Survivor”. I’m sorry... but if i'm going to complete this list I have to stick with bona-fide celebrities. If I include B and C Listers, we'll be here all day...
33. Oscar De LaHoya: I think it was him and his wife. Or was she his girlfriend? I have no idea, but some female members of the waitstaff were going on and on about how hot he was. Not my type, but he seemed nice. Someone said his wife or girlfriend was a finalist in The Miss America pageant or something.
34. Salmon Rushdie: Did i just massacre a name again? Well... I was worried we ALL were gonna get massacred when he showed up at a fancy Hollywood Bistro I was working at. Considering all the death threats he'd received as a result of that wacky 'Satanic Verses' book he'd written I had good cause. But nothing dramatic happened. He was just out for a nice quiet dinner with a lady friend.
35. Lauren Hutton: OK...i didn't wait on her. I checked her coat. Still it was exciting.
36. Jackie Collins: I worked a catering job at Kelly Lynch's house in Hollywood. It was star studded. Not only did I pass out drinks and niblets to Miss Collins. I also passed out food to the other following luminaries...
37. Lisa Kudrow
38. Val Kilmner
39. Anjelica Houston
40. and of course Kelly Lynch (seeing as it was her house)
* there were other celebrities in attendance, but I don't want to drop names. KIDDING! This whole blog post is nothing but name dropping!
41. Charleze Therone? I think it was her. I got her a menu. She looked at it, then got up and left. In all fairness it may not have been her. But if it wasn't then it was someone who looked exactly like her.
42. Jack Nicholson: I got him some water in Hollywood.
43. Kevin Spacey: Refilled his coffee in Hollywood.
44. Tiffany: I didn't wait on her, but I DID bring her a menu and I told her that her waiter would be right with her. I also complimented her on her shoes- fuzzy leopard printed platforms.
45. Paula Abdul: Again...I didn't really wait on her, but I brought her a menu while she waited for a friend. My shift was ending, so by the time her friend showed up another waiter had her table.
46. Seal and Heidi Klum: They tipped really well.
47. Matthew Mcaughnahay: I had a hard time concentrating when I waited on him... because he's so freakin' hot. We need a cool drink of water at Table 18 immediately!
48. Andy Dick: He's really nice and really funny. He's also a really good tipper.
49. Heidi Fleiss: I told her I owned a Heidi-Wear T shirt-which was the truth-and she said "Cool! Do you like it?" and I said "Yeah! It's great!" cause I didn't know what else to say. She was really funny though. Say what you will about her being a big train wreck. I'll always like her because she was super friendly to me.
50. Rose McGowen: She was nice. She read a book while she ate.
51. Leelee Sobieski: I just brought her water. She had a really cool fushia shirt on.
52. David LaChapelle: I just love him. I vaguely knew him "back in the day" through my very dear friend Jorge. Jorge was cousins with David's assistant Luis (who has since passed away, but was one of the sweetest people on the planet). David came into a restaurant I was working at in L.A. years later and recognized me. We talked for awhile about New York, and how much he missed Luis. He's always seemed like a very sincere, very sweet man - so it was nice to stop and chat with him during the middle of a busy shift.
53: Al Pacino: OK, I didn’t serve him - but I was at a cafe he was at in NYC. His car was parked outside and he was apparently having technical issues with it. My friend and I watched over coffee as he waited for someone (a mechanic I think). When they showed up, Al went outside and they were walking around the troubled car talking about what might be wrong with it. Later on, the friend I was with called the story into The New York Post and it got printed on their “Page 6” gossip section. “A source reported that Al Pacino had car problems in mid-town…” and we were “the source”!
There are more celebrities I could name - but I'll stop while I'm ahead.
TO EVERYONE I LISTED HERE...
THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH UNDERSTANDING PATRONS.
IT WAS MY PLEASURE TO SERVE YOU. COME AGAIN!