Say what you want but I am a part of culinary history.  Yep.  Immortalized, you might say.  For, you see, I came up with the word ‘teaser’ when talking about an amuse bouche.  You know, that tiny little morsel that the chef sends out before the meal (amuse the mouth).  My French mentor called his an ‘amuse gueule’, a more crude form of the term as gueule refers to a beast’s mouth.

Anyway, when I went to work for Guenter Seeger (at the new Regent Hotel in D.C. circa 1983) he was pretty adamant that we not use French terms on the menu.  I thought about English options and figured we were ‘teasing’ the diner about what’s to come.

So he introduced it to a group of influential women that had been invited for a pre-opening luncheon to sample what Guenter could do.  As he took out the first tidbit he announced that this was his ‘Teaser’.  At that, the women in the room all began to giggle.  “Vut is so funny?” he asked.  “Well,” said one of the women, “most of us live near Middleburg, horse country, and a teaser is something we use to get the stallions, um, excited, so they’re, um , eager.”

“Yah,” said Guenter.  “That is exactly what I want!”

Teaser it is.



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