Meet Kent Voss, server (as well as captain/key/sage of service/trainer/sensei) at Dressler’s Metropolitan.
Kent, how long have you been with Dressler’s? “5 years, 4 months, 2 days.”
Please describe your responsibilities at the restaurant. “Ambassador to the kitchen, culinary guide, reading our guests’ auras, and, most of all, anticipating needs and providing service that appears seamless and graceful,” explains Kent. “To win friends and influence people.”
What is a typical day/evening like for you? “Clean nails and bright eyes to start, clean and polish the arena, take in new information and review old information, and mess with my fellow coworkers, and then off to shake hands and kiss babies.”
What do you like most about working at Dressler’s? “That list is long for sure,” says Kent. “I can’t speak for the other two locations but I can say for sure at the Metropolitan that I feel lucky and excited to be able to spend 6 nights a week around some of the most interesting, eclectic, and dynamic people that I have ever seen in one place. I feel so lucky to be exposed to the massive variety and flavors of people (guests and staff included) that I rub shoulders with in a typical work week,” says Kent. “And Jon Dressler is pretty nice as well,” jokes Kent.
What’s your secret to success? “Nothing slick here, just the inner child looking for approval. The more difficult it is to gain, the more interested I become.”
Any funny stories or people that you encounter in your position? ”There are so many,” begins Kent. “I close my eyes and review the last five years, and the two that pop into my head first are bearing witness to Tim Buchanan running a half marathon and then working almost right after and conducting the restaurant meticulously–brilliant. Then, I think the same year, observing Erik Draheim apply the Heimlich maneuver on one of our guests, possibly saving their life, then going on to expertly perform his superior table visits like nothing had just happened.”
What are some of your favorite foods to eat at Dressler’s? “The Brasstown sirloin is awesome as well as local. The salmon is stunning. The Gnocchi with blue cheese sauce, green apple, and prosciutto is life changing. It’s disturbing how many wines you can pair with it. Of course, Joan Dressler’s cheesecake is remarkable, each bite begs for another–good God!”
What are some of the customers’ favorites? “Halibut, heart of ribeye, rack of lamb, and our signature calamari presentation,” says Kent. “Our signature cocktails that Jeff Keiser, Bar Manager at Metro, have put together are the best I have seen. Our guests have really taken to them. You can tell it was cultivated by someone who genuinely wanted something there for everybody–from a rum pineapple basil cocktail to a hearty premium bourbon old fashioned,” explains Kent. ”He still manages to be creative and charming (all the while he has a newborn baby that cries 12 hours a day). God bless you Jeffery Keiser!”
What do you do when you’re not working? “I go to a local studio and practice Tai Chi. A little-known fact about our Executive Chef Scott Hollingsworth is that he has trained Krav Maga and combat sports for a spell. We have trained, drilled, and sparred with each other. I (he) ruined my meniscus. So I thank him for that. I feel so satisfied to be spending 6 to 7 1/2 hours a week in a sport appropriate for my rapidly-aging 44-year-old frame.
“Having my kids (17, 16, and 10 years old) invite me into their worlds and letting their guard down for whatever time I can grab is the highlight of my life,” adds Kent. “I’m also very excited to see my daughter (with Kent in photo) go off to Appalachian State in the Fall.”
What is special about Dressler’s that keeps people coming back? “There are no right words, catchy phrases, and/or eloquent mission statements to answer that. To be honest, I really feel like it is all that intangible stuff–the vibe. Come in and feel it for yourself!”