Food & Drink » Food: Year of Idaho Food

Behind the Line

A photo essay of what goes on in a restaurant kitchen


Few worlds revolve in such tight orbit and yet are so starkly dissimilar as the "front of the house," or dining area of a restaurant, and the seldom-seen kitchen area, or "back of the house."

As you sip your syrah comfortably ensconced in serene, softly lit surroundings, the restaurant's kitchen staff are likely doing battle in an environment that resembles the cramped, overheated chaos of a submarine. Fires flare, knives flash and orders are barked. Split-second decisions can mean life or death to a rare ribeye or somebody's job. The back of the house can also be exhilarating, nearly heroic, full of dedicated people doing precise, physically demanding work for hours on end. At times it can also be a hell of a lot of fun.

For this photo essay, I hung out during three weekend nights at four of downtown Boise's biggest restaurants. And for letting me peek behind the curtain, I'd like to thank the folks at Red Feather Lounge, Bittercreek Ale House, Fork and Berryhill & Co.