ANDREA'S JOURNAL: In Full Bloom

Times are changing, and kitchen dynamic allover the country is evolving. Racial and gender barriers are crumbling every day. Equality in the kitchen is no longer a goal; it's a reality. But it doesn't mean this evolution isn't without it's own issues to tackle. I'm learning them every day.

A week ago, one of my best chefs gave me her notice. She's been on the team since before we even had a kitchen, assisting for all of our pre-opening events so I was pretty shocked by her unexpected goodbye.

I wondered if she wasn't happy with the environment. I mean, I knew she could definitely handle the work.

I finally brought myself to ask her why she was leaving, why I was losing a good employee, thinking she'd tell me that she found a better job elsewhere.

Her answer took me aback: she was having a baby.

"Oh my goodness, that's no reason to quit." I responded. But I understood where she was coming from.

The long hours on your feet, rigid schedule, and intense pace - how would a pregnant woman be able to manage in that environment? There aren't many professional kitchens that would allow for the flexibility needed.

This talented chef was with us when there wasn't much to work with, stuck through our hectic opening weeks and intense review period. I couldn't bear the idea of losing her because she was creating a family.

Thankfully, I was able to convince her that I was open and willing to work around her needs and she agreed to stay.

I'm so excited. The first Red Rooster baby is in the oven!

It's a time for new beginnings all around. I can't tell you how overjoyed I am by the recent review in the New York Times and Post.

Thanks to Mr. Sifton and Mr. Cuozzo for understanding our vision.

We just introduced an amazing special to the chalkboard: Chickpea Dumplings. They're kind of like gnocchi, spiced with coriander and bringing in spring a little early, using leafy greens and peas.

A wonderful addition to Red Rooster's menu.