"There’s no way to become a food or wine expert overnight, or even in a year. But you don’t need expertise. All you need is enough confidence to ask questions. The rest is up to the restaurant.
In hiring staff, training them, and holding all those meetings every day, a top restaurant has taken on the burden of providing expertise. If you provide an opening by asking a question, any good restaurant’s staff should be more than happy to share that expertise with you.
One of the most basic lines of inquiry, which can lead to a highly productive dialogue, is asking servers what their favorite dishes are, and what dishes the chef considers specialties of the house."