Well I been out of the biz for about 2 years due to some health probs (carpal tunnel) and did not think I would return but lo and behold I am cheffin again at a small retirement community (68 apartments). The previouse chef was fired at 1:30 and I walked in at 2:30 and it was on. Man let me tell you that being off of work for this time period kicked my butt the first 2 weeks as my body was not used to the hours or the long days!
This kitchen I walked into was filled with so much out dated unlabeled stuff from the freezers to to the dry goods room that I have so far filled the dumpster a couple of times myself ! Found a gallon jug of mayo from the 90s which had actually seperated.To many science projects to mention but I am sure some of you older chefs have seen this before.
The Majority of the food this community recieved before I came to the property was of the frozen heat and serve variety and well even the soups were the frozen ones from Sysco. The poor staff was beat to hell by a manager who did not know how to manage or schedule and I inherited the repurcussions.
Well 1 month later I have had a 50% staff turnover ( 12 staff total ) and reduced staffing to 9 people while re-adjusting the schedule. Also have pretty much re-organized everything in the kitchen as well as getting some new stuff for the menu I designed. Before I came on board the menu was 2 options per meal dished from the steam table (heat and serve food) per state regulations for this community and what I have done is to eliminate 1 of the entrees and put a table top menu out for them kinda coffee shop style menu with plenty of choices for them to be happy and spend the money on 1 good blue plate special such as real roast turkey / prime rib/ homemade meatballs, shrimp dishes made with 41/50s, local salmon, fried chicken (yea its oven fried but no fryer so what the heck) so you get the pic. I also get great produce and the fruit and veggies are now big sellers. I can see a day off in about 2 more weeks as the staff and community are allready
getting acustomed to the many changes.
New kitchens are so much fun but I think I am getting to old for this stuff and perhaps I should keep this place for awhile.
Any body else been there? Doug.........