Sometimes the rudest guests are the best ones, because if you can meet their needs they will come back and back again.
I had once flown from the Canary Islands to Madrid and was dressed casually in flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt.
We went to the Hotel Ritz, and while my friend was parking the car, I went to ask if there was a free room.
As I went up the steps, I saw the doorman out of the corner of my eye making a sign to the receptionist not to accept me.
The receptionist regarded my attire with distaste and told me the hotel was full.
What? In January?
“Next time I’ll call ahead to reserve,” I replied and took a card from the desk.
Outside, I told the doorman I would phone another hotel with my mobile.
Instead, I phoned the Ritz, booked a room, and then went back to the car.
I sent my friend (who was better dressed) to get the key to the room and wave to me when he had it.
Soon I was sending the rude porter back to the car to pick up the baggage.
The receptionist was red in the face with embarrassment.
“If the owners knew you were sending away a paying guest when you’re actually empty, you would lose your job,” I told him.
You can’t judge a book by its cover.
So here at the Hurricane, you can have dinner in your flip-flops and shorts if you like.
We certainly don’t think that all that glitters is gold—sometimes it is the best-dressed clients who escape without paying their bills!
Once, a couple escaped without paying their bill for dinner.
They were the last to leave the restaurant and there was only one waiter left.
They sent him off to get them a dessert and while he was gone, the couple disappeared.
Below is Rita’s recipe for Capri chocolate cake.
(makes one 9-inch cake)
9 ounces (255 g) good quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup (225 g) butter
¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 ¼ cup (250 g) granulated sugar
1 ½ cups ground blanched and toasted almonds
6 eggs, room temperature
Preheat an oven to 310°F and line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a double-boiler.
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together the melted chocolate mixture, the cocoa powder, almond extract and sugar until combined.
Add the ground almonds and whisk until combined.
Add the eggs one at a time, adding each egg after the first has been incorporated into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the spring form pan.
Make sure the mixture is level and smooth on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Cool and serve with chocolate spirals or shavings and powdered sugar.
Serve with gelato or whipped cream.
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