I've just accepted a job working in the pastry section of a restaurant. They've not really had anyone to work in the pastry for a while, and the sous chef has been managing it so far, but the menus have been getting changed to make them a bit easier for the other chefs to do. Basically, my position hasn't been made 100% clear, but from the sounds of it they're wanting chef de partie from me. When I go in, I really want to wow them with some well thought out ideas, and make a change. (I've been for a trial shift, and honestly, the stuff that I do is above what they're doing right now)
They have a lot of equipment, and there are a couple of things that I haven't used before. One of those things is a soft serve ice cream machine. I've been told that they only use it on the lunch menu, and that they only use it to make things easier on the chefs for service (none of the other chefs are actually pastry chefs, I think the guy working there on my trial shift is usually on veg??) and I don't see them wanting to get rid of it. Right now they're using it for a DIY sundae (ice cream, little bottles of sauce, little jars of choc vermicelli, jelly, shortbread pieces,) and berries and ice cream (exactly like it sounds) The head chef made it clear to me that he doesn't like it, and I made it clear to him that I don't either.
I've already got some ideas for the dinner menus, but I've been racking my brain trying to think of how to use this soft serve machine while still bringing it up a couple notches. So far I've been thinking of doing retro coupes: peach melba, belle helene, and maybe something like banoffee, and making our own tuiles or wafers to use as garnishes. Is anyone doing anything like this right now? How is it going over? In the kitchen and with the customers?
Also, not 100% sure again, but I think they're just using a pre-bought mix for the soft serve ice cream Could you make up any ice cream (like a custard base, or a creme fraiche ice cream) and send it through the machine instead of churning it in a regular ice cream machine? Or could you add things to the mix, like melted chocolate, or toffee?