Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Iron Chef Staffy

Any cook will tell you how passionate he or she is about making food for the staff, or family food as it is sometimes called. Thomas Keller recalls cooking for the crew as one of his first responsibilities in a commercial kitchen and many have adopted this romantic image as their own. No matter what the cook says however, the proof of how seriously they take this task is in the pudding, so to speak. In my kitchen we make a single meal for the entire staff each shift. I'm dedicated to it being delicious, nourishing and somewhat healthy. It also has to be cost effective and aide our efforts to move through product while it is still fresh. Utilizing what would otherwise be waste is essential, of course. Finally, since the meal is always prepared at the end of service, it has to be done fast because we all want to eat and get the eff out of there! That being said, you can often tell who cooked the meal without asking. The ability to turn the extras into something beautiful doesn't come easy, and doing it fast takes even more practice. Never underestimate it's importance, though. Let's face it...quality food and service come from happy people, and happiness starts in the belly! Discussions on this subject led me to propose a new television series to air directly after Iron Chef on the Food Network. The Iron Chef Staffy teams will enter kitchen stadium after the main event and be charged with preparing a meal from the leftovers. You have twenty minutes. You are judged not by celebrities, but by your peers and compete not for fame and glory, but for the thanks and admiration of your colleagues. Oh, and everyone has a few cocktails when it's over...

1 comment:

  1. Before my first shift in food service at a private club we were served filet mignon for crew chow. I assumed that was the sweet life of the wait-staff. The assumption was wrong, the first meal was an anomaly. The reality became more like stew, tacos, mac & cheese. I love your idea for a show, it's a winner.