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Staff meal ideas.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm new, to not just this forum but to professional cooking in general. The chef asked me to do staff meal, and I'm feeling a little nervous about it. I'm suppose to use left over, or cheap ingredients.
So to my question. Dose anyone have a strategy when it comes to staff meal?
post #2 of 15

The only advice I can offer is: Play to your strengths. Look over the ingredients you have at your disposal and think about something you'd make for yourself with those ingredients. There's no need to over-analyze it. The best way to get it done is to take the pressure off of yourself and treat it as you're cooking for yourself...just in larger quantity.

 

I've got lots of experience planning or spontaneously creating staff meals. I have to do it daily. If you ever need any ideas or advice, feel free to shoot me a line and let me know what you've got to work with and I'd be happy to share some ideas or tips with you.

post #3 of 15

No need to over analyze in my opinion. 

I would make something homie ( nothing too fancy ) , something i myself would like to eat.It is just a staff meal , im sure anyone there would love to have something comfortable , and fresh. Do what you like , and have fun with it , no need to be too complex , and if its something tasty, you bet i would chow down. 

 

I remember making many staff meals , many times i would make something simple like rice , a side of oven baked potatoes , a simple salad or roasted veg , some pasta and some chicken ( all basic ingredients , not too expensive , and usually consists of things that may be left over)

I remember one in the fridge we had alot of left over chicken , and i needed to use it all up , so why not i made roasted chicken and let everyone chow down XD. 

Yesterday my the restaurant i worked at shut down for reform , and we had so much stuff left over at the end we had alot of mint , so i made mint ice cream for all of the staff just to get rid of it xD. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #4 of 15

IN MY 50 YEARS, I HAVE FOUND NO MATTER WHAT YOU GIVE THEM THEY WILL COMPLAIN.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 15

Make the food you want to eat.  If you start with dishes you truly enjoy you'll know the flavor profiles and from there you can make a tasty meal for your fellow cooks.  From there you can branch out with other items that others enjoy and build a repertoire of family dishes that you can bust out in a hot second.  A great tasting family meal sets the mood for service and gets people in the mind frame of doing a good job, and you get smiles and swoons from the waitresses smile.gif  I appreciate that you care so much about what to feed the crew.

 

 

And yes, ChefEDB is right, no matter what you make someone will have an "intolerance", be a vegan or a some other ridiculous thing but just do your best.  You gotta start somewhere.

post #6 of 15

I always look at it as a great opportunity for learning. The person preparing it gets a chance to explore new terriority and expand their knowledge base and skill set; and at the same time they can help their fellow team mates to open their parachutes and increase their overall awareness and appreciation of food and dining. Feed the head, notchef.gif just the belly.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

IN MY 50 YEARS, I HAVE FOUND NO MATTER WHAT YOU GIVE THEM THEY WILL COMPLAIN.

 

OMG! THIS!!!

Caps lock isn't strong enough for this truth!

 

Well, unless you give them corn-dogs and french fries. The more pedestrian, the better.

 

man... I just typed 3 paragraphs about this and deleted it. How about you tell us how many you're cooking for and in what type of environment.

 

I mean, it's your head on the chopping block here. Saying "don't over analyze" is good advice in general regarding employee meals, but this is a great opportunity to learn how to use left-overs and how to cook for your clientele.

post #8 of 15

If all else fails turn it into Stir Fry...

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #9 of 15

totally understand how you must feel, am in the same boat for the moment.

usually we go look in the fridge what we can use, most often its things that need using up,  or when my chef tells me what the protein is (seabass, for instance) and I have to do a starch and veg alongside that (recently made pan roast seabass, mediterranean stewed veg and a potato gratin).

but indeed, go with what you feel comfortable with and what you like , if there's a chance.

gives you the confidence you need so much now, and from there, move on and grow :) 

its what I am trying to do.....(try not to think of screwing up because your chef told you to do staff meals ....try to have an idea of making something for your collegues you want them to try and enjoy).

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much. Your right I am over thinking it. I'll try roasting vegetables as a side. I really liked the stir fry idea. Really great stuff. Whats funny its basically the same stuff my chef has told me.
post #11 of 15
It's left overs, treat it as such.
I actually always think what sauce will go with the protein of that day.
From there I start using what I have. Making things in one or two pots is super fast and easy clean up.

Ragu of anything
Tacos with whatever
Salads
Pastas

With a good sauce you can throw all your left overs in and done.

TOrtillas, pasta, lettuce, and rice are cheap.
post #12 of 15

Any puree can have cream put in it and any cream mixture or puree can have pasta added to become a pasta sauce.  Any pasta can be topped with any veg and left over meat.  Staff love sandwiches.  If I only made sandwiches they would be happy campers.  Sandwiches I have done in the past are left over roast beef, left over fish baked and flaked and used like a home cook would use canned tuna, caramelized onion garlic butter and cheese was a huge hit too.  I put it on bagels and put the bagels in a panini press.  Hummus and poached mushrooms sandwiches.  If you don't know how to make a descent dressing by hand, learn now. Any left over quinois, lentil, couscous or barley can be turned into a salad with some added veg.  Roasted or otherwise.  I hope these ideas will get you started!  Good luck!

post #13 of 15
Once had a bartender complain that he didn't get enough meat in family meal at a small establishment I worked at years ago. I flashed a smile and dropped a clean side-towel in a saute pan, covered it with tomato sauce and mozz cheese... 5 minutes later he was offered a beautiful something something "parmesan" That was the end of staff complaints...
post #14 of 15

Everybody has different taste. however, dealing with a staff meal my recommendation woud be to keep it general use ingredients and flavors that most people are familiar with. In other words you would not use left over tuna to make tuna tar-tare for a staff meal. however, tuna salad would be more appropriate. pasta dish would also be appropriate since most people enjoy Italian food, but then again keep it simple use a basic tomato sauce not aglio olio or a cream base sauce. French fries are economical and make a great side. Chicken is another good choice since that can be boied and used as a salad or grilled or fried for a platter. remember go back to basics keep the dish simple and familiar and your staff will love you.

post #15 of 15
Lol did similar thing but
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

Once had a bartender complain that he didn't get enough meat in family meal at a small establishment I worked at years ago. I flashed a smile and dropped a clean side-towel in a saute pan, covered it with tomato sauce and mozz cheese... 5 minutes later he was offered a beautiful something something "parmesan" That was the end of staff complaints...


Did similar thing for one of the girls who complaint not having fish and chips smile.gif deep fried and batter cloth it was and she never asked again smile.gif
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