In its latest installment of The Gatekeepers, which features “the fine ladies and gentlemen that stand between you and some your favorite impossible-to-get tables,” Eater interviews Marcel’s maitre d’ of the past 13 years, Adnane Kebaier. And, man, what an interview.
Among the revelations, Kebaier says he won’t sit two African Americans or two Chinese people next to each other:
It’s very hard for me to keep the balance in the dining room.
Just look at the dining room. For example, you cannot have two African-American next to each other. Or two Chinese or Japanese next to each other. It kind of looks like a different section just for this race. I have to split them around and it depends. If someone for example wears a nice suit with a nice watch, nice lady, I’m not going to sit with him a guy wearing just a khaki and a shirt. You have to have the balance in the dining room.
Also, Kebaier will take your bribes:
Has anyone ever tried to slip you money or give you gifts?
Oh yeah. Of course.
Does that ever work?
It works all of the time. I’ll make it happen.
Oh yeah? So you accept the money or gifts?
Yeah, of course. You can’t turn those away. That’s your job. That’s how you get paid sometimes, with tips.
Check out the full interview here.