Matthew BattJan 12, 2024
The Last Supper Club
A Waiter's Requiem
University of Minnesota Press 2023
During a year on sabbatical from his university position, Matthew Batt realized he needed money—fast—and it just so happened that a craft brewery in Minneapolis was launching a restaurant and looking to hire. So it was that the forty-something tenured professor found himself waiting tables. And loving it.
The Last Supper Club: A Waiter's Requiem (University of Minnesota Press, 2023) tells the story of Batt’s experience at the fine dining restaurant, an adventure that continued well past his sabbatical—right up to the restaurant’s sudden and unceremonious closing, shortly after it was named one of the best restaurants in the country by Food & Wine. Batt’s memoir conveys the challenge—and the satisfaction—of meeting the demands of a frenzied kitchen and an equally expectant crowd. The Last Supper Club reveals the ups and downs of a waiter’s workday and offers an insightful perspective on what makes a job good, bad, or great.
James Kates is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has worked as an editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other publications.