Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 02:35 pm PT (05:35 pm ET)
Former Google head chef recalls 'humble,' fashionably late Steve JobsGoogle's first head chef this week offered a rare glimpse into the personal life of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, recalling that frequent visits to his restaurant showed the tech guru was a humble, if not fashionably late, individual.
Charlie Ayers recollects that Jobs was humble and accommodating patron who was well-respected by guests at the Google "super chef's" restaurant Calafia Cafe, which is frequented by tech industry giants, reports Forbes.
Jobs sometimes texted Ayers with last-minute reservation requests, though knowing that the restaurant was busy, he wouldn't expect to be seated immediately and instead waited patiently at the bar until his usual table was open.
"[Jobs] would walk in and it would be like Moses parting the Red Sea," Ayers said. "He would see his table was occupied and he'd go and sit down and relax. People knew and they were like 'I'll move,' but he was a very humble person in terms of that. He didn't ask people to move or anything, he waited."
The chef tells the story of an Easter Sunday where Jobs called asking for a dinner reservation. Ayers knew the restaurant was full to capacity, so he set up a makeshift table in the small market attached to the dining hall. Despite the less than ideal seating location next to the food coolers, Jobs was reportedly content just being able to share a meal with his family.
Calafia Cafe opened in January, 2009 and hosts the "who's who" of technology, being so busy that the restaurant will normally serve 250 meals even on a Tuesday night.
Ayers said that the patrons of his restaurant were always very respectful and would often offer to give up their seat if eating at Jobs' usual table. The former Apple chief was mostly left alone even though many customers knew who he was, though Ayers notes one incident when Jobs was interrupted during a meal.
"Only one time did we have a guest come over and approach him at his table, and it was a little boy," Ayers said. "He wanted his autograph and Steve was very obliging to him and very nice."
Ayers, formerly a personal chef to a family of 14, first began his stint at Google in 1999 after a successful audition for founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin. As Google expanded, his 50 meal a day job turned into serving between 10,000 and 15,000 employees per day. Ayers left the tech company in 2006 to open his restaurant where many Google employees, including Page and Brin, still eat.
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