everyday the chefs make what we refer to as "crew food" in the break room, we have 4 steam tables that can fit hotel pans. as the title says, friday i need to make crewfood because the head chef told me to. i have basic cooking skills and im no super chef. what i ask is for a suggestion on what i should do......something simple (doesnt have to be super duper simple) and filling for a country club of employees (maybe 20-30 will eat)
Head chef has told me (the dishwasher) that friday i will need to make "crew food" for the day....what should i make
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Agreed - it totally depends on what's in the larder that is not on special for that day. Salad was a mainstay of staff lunch when I was in the trade as was a protein (or two) with us it was one, then a veg, or two. Once in a while we had soup and mind you the head chef cooked staff lunch for us. Is this assigned to other staff, or are you being challenged?
My favorite salad to this day was something chef made for us:
Shave of Parm maybe, but that's gilding the lilly.
How much time do you have to prep this and will you have any help? (I hope)
we have a pretty decent selection of ingrediants......it would be impossible for me to list all.......but for the sake of arguement........i guess assume i have every ingrediant in the world........we have many many spices.....chicken.....lamb (chef would have a cow if i made the lamb XD) beef........as far as i know....every pasta..........arugala, spring mix...romaine...............just...idk......im thinking of making philly cheese steaks...simple...and most people like.......imma have toasted bread and the philly cheese steak stuff in seperate hotel pans, so people can make their own sandwhiches........so thats starch and protein and veg right there........i think..............................
chef told us to stop making salads for crew food sadly.......hardly anybody ever ate any of it.......lucky if 2 people had salad
That's good, quick and simple, and cook as you go. I'd forgotten about skewers, I do the same thing with chicken, right down to the marinade.
Good job! Onward and upward, you are on your way.
i did at one time want to be a chef, but i did it....at this same country club im currentlky dishwashing.....i was the cold-side chef, i lived the dream....but the rushes........one mistake......and it was the dominoes effect. not to mention i had dessert tickets coming in with new tables getting salads............i don't handle stress under pressure too well......i thought i could handle it...but.....eh..idk man..i stepped down
That happens to everyone, especially when new. It is not how many times you get knocked down, but whether you get back up ready to go again and learning from the experience. Watch the guys that are presently working the cold side. See what they do. Ways they organize. How they handle the flow. What their priorities are when tickets start to fly. Learn from it. What they do that is good. What they do that could be improved upon. Help them out when they get in a pinch.
A sense of urgency is part and parcel of working the line, but it doesn't have to denigrate into stomach churning stress. Things I do to prevent that are remembering that this too shall pass, time accelerates in the mind, breathe, and focus on the big picture while prioritizing.
I and I'm sure others in here know chefs/cook who've been working in that stress for YEARS and still can't really handle it.
Boy is THAT true Cheflayne!
Which means when you're on that busy line, time actually "slows down" if ya can believe it--you always feel like you're WAY behind,
even when you're slightly ahead. I've experienced this even more in high-end (6 or 7 course) banquet, but most of all in catering--
that last 15 minutes before serving time is the WORST, you feel SURE it's all about to go straight to hell, you haulass to try not to
be TOO late, only to finally get it done, check the time and discover you're ready to serve 10 minutes early!
Time passes...we mature...and with this maturity comes wisdom.
Maybe the next time you are helping the pantry cook keep himself from slipping into the weeds you could stop for a second and do a self check.
You may find that you kinda enjoy that little adrenaline rush
Oh yeah....great dish idea.
Who doesn't like meat on a stick?
@MOONMO0N maybe your chef is gently nudging you back to the line?
I agree with this thought. The chef sees the culinary embers glowing in you and he is gently fanning them hoping they bust into flame.
Maybe a good step would be to offer to take on crew food as part of your daily duties. It could prove to be be a halcyon path to the line. Doing crew food will allow you to work, not just on your culinary skills, but also on on skills that are vital to successful line work such as prioritizing, time management, and assessing the big picture.
In addition you will get to experience the satisfaction that comes from seeing a completed service knowing that you put your best effort into it. Just remember not to rest on your laurels, but to always look back at ways you could improve. Small little things that will make the next service even smoother and better.
Confidence comes one step at a time
So freaking true. When I was a breakfast cook in this one little dump, I'd always think I had these awful ticket times when I got slammed by myself, and I'd always be stressed and crazy. Then when the joint got a POS system, and saw my average was like 7 mins during peak volume by myself, I couldn't believe it. Of course, when you lose that sense of urgency, you can't get a solid rhythm going.
You have to think, the best chefs screwed up more than you ever will as a dishwasher. The best chefs still screw up, they just screw up better than the bad ones. A good chef knows exactly what he did wrong when he screws up because his mind is focused on cause and effect, not ego. The worst chefs blame other things or other people. Average chefs don't care much either way. My first real day as a breakfast cook was a horrible disaster. I burned toast, broke yolks, eggs flew out of the pan, I burned the heck out my hand with clumsy wave of bacon grease, wrecked omelets, served undercooked pancakes twice, had the worst plating, switched toasts and meats, I had no technique and was so stressed. Ticket times were bad. The other guy was pulling me out of the weeds all day. My grill and board was as big of a mess as my head. I couldn't even flip pancakes right half the time it seemed. I almost had a nervous breakdown and had to go outside for 15 minutes to chain smoke and psyche myself up to keep going on with the day. I was 17, just thrown into the fire with little real foundation on a grill and got flustered and I just compounded my errors and lost the mental game hard. I was judging myself the hardest when no one else really was, and worried more about looking stupid instead of learning and figuring out why I was messing up and not doing well. It was purely the mind stopping me dead in my tracks. I didn't think it was okay to mess up. It isn't ideal, but is okay in the sense that it's simply inevitable. Our response is what makes the situation what it is. I never wanted to cook again but towards the end of the shift I said I am probably the worst cook they've ever had and this old Greek guy just looked at me said "F*** it. You didn't ruin every order. You'll start ruining less." It really calmed me and shifted my perspective. By the middle of the next day that started with a totally different mind, I was calmly flipping eggs left-handed, with both hands at the same time, making attractive food. By the weekend I was confident to actually get buried in a serious rush without losing it. I still made many mistakes, but they were simpler and easily fixed usually. Luckily, they were good people to learn from, which many people don't get. So many people start off in bad places and understandably walk away. Solid coaching goes a long way. Eventually, you'll still mess up, but you'll either catch it immediately, know how to fix it fast, and it won't faze you. The stress is natural, and gets better. The more you tell yourself you are doing your best, and your best WILL get better just by continuing to try, the less you see that you have nothing to be stressed about. Cooking is hard. That's why there is no true mastery, just more repetition.
You should step back up and take it on. It is always easier to stay in your comfort zone, embrace plateaus and not be bad at something new and stay good at something old.