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Cooking for the Masses

One of the many kitchens we work in is the Staff Kitchen. This is where we as a staff eat our meals and also have a bit of a break room. It’s a lot like a short order dinner more than anything else really. It has your cold line and a buffet line that we put the hot food items in. Part of working in the kitchen is that you have to have the food out and ready by 11am or 5 pm depending on the meal you are cooking for. I was told when I first got to the club that I could make anything I wanted as long as it didn’t use truffles or caviar, but that I would have to do it all by myself…

A daunting task one might say considering that at lunch you could have as many as 300 employees coming to eat, and if you are not ready you are only hurting them because we only have half an hour lunch block to come eat in before we have to run back to work. (The lunch block is from 11am-1:15pm.) Anyways, for the first few days I was working with someone else to help them get ready for the meal time they would be cooking in, but as we have reached Christmas time and they needed their help in other parts of the kitchen I have been thrust back in the staff kitchen all by my lonesome.

Truth be told it’s not as bad as they make it sound when talking about it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, cooking staff meal really tests your organization and timing to the limits, and I think it is a way they test these skills for the new interns they hire. The first day they would come check on me, but now that they see I’m getting everything done and that I haven’t caked under the pressure they are giving me a prep list to do along with completing the staff meal. I like it because it gives me some creative freedom in a kitchen and allows me to work on my very basic kitchen management skills.

As with all good things there are downfalls and parts that make you grumble, for instance the people I’m cooking for have gotten use to and expect rice to be served with EVERY meal. Nothing fancy, just plain old rice. Please don’t get me wrong, I like rice, but after almost 2 weeks of eating rice as the only starch I am sick of it. I made a vow that when allowed to do my own staff meals I would not cook rice, and that is just what I did the first time.

The looks I got from the people who would eat heaping platefuls of rice each meal was anything from disappointment to downright outrage and indignation. Oh well, who cares, I was tired of rice and I didn’t want to eat it. Finding out that my next shift would be dinner I was already planning on having a potato dish in the place of rice, this however didn’t work out like I planned.

I get to the staff kitchen that day and I’m talking with the morning chef and he walks me over to a large pot, and says “I got complaints that you didn’t make rice the other day, so I just finished making it for you today.” I had been sabotaged! I wasn’t about to just throw it out, but I felt guilty putting rice out on the line again. Sigh, you can’t please everyone when you are cooking the staff meal. And since the majority eat, sleep, and breathe rice, it appears that it is what they get all the time. I’m going to continue to fight the no rice battle as long as I can, and may even take a page out of my mother’s book of “This is what I made for dinner if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it.”

All talk about rice and the never ending war to eat something else besides rice for the next 6 months aside, I have had fun cooking in the staff kitchen. And I’m looking forward to being able to work more in there and play with the almost full and unlimited resources at my disposal.

That is all for now Chef Fans stay tuned as my Jupiter adventures continue… 

One of the many kitchens we work in is the Staff Kitchen. This is where we as a staff eat our meals and also have a bit of a break room. It’s a lot like a short order dinner more than anything else really. It has your cold line and a buffet line that we put the hot food items in. Part of working in the kitchen is that you have to have the food out and ready by 11am or 5 pm depending on the meal you are cooking for. I was told when I first got to the club that I could make anything I wanted as long as it didn’t use truffles or caviar, but that I would have to do it all by myself…

A daunting task one might say considering that at lunch you could have as many as 300 employees coming to eat, and if you are not ready you are only hurting them because we only have half an hour lunch block to come eat in before we have to run back to work. (The lunch block is from 11am-1:15pm.) Anyways, for the first few days I was working with someone else to help them get ready for the meal time they would be cooking in, but as we have reached Christmas time and they needed their help in other parts of the kitchen I have been thrust back in the staff kitchen all by my lonesome.

Truth be told it’s not as bad as they make it sound when talking about it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, cooking staff meal really tests your organization and timing to the limits, and I think it is a way they test these skills for the new interns they hire. The first day they would come check on me, but now that they see I’m getting everything done and that I haven’t caked under the pressure they are giving me a prep list to do along with completing the staff meal. I like it because it gives me some creative freedom in a kitchen and allows me to work on my very basic kitchen management skills.

As with all good things there are downfalls and parts that make you grumble, for instance the people I’m cooking for have gotten use to and expect rice to be served with EVERY meal. Nothing fancy, just plain old rice. Please don’t get me wrong, I like rice, but after almost 2 weeks of eating rice as the only starch I am sick of it. I made a vow that when allowed to do my own staff meals I would not cook rice, and that is just what I did the first time.

The looks I got from the people who would eat heaping platefuls of rice each meal was anything from disappointment to downright outrage and indignation. Oh well, who cares, I was tired of rice and I didn’t want to eat it. Finding out that my next shift would be dinner I was already planning on having a potato dish in the place of rice, this however didn’t work out like I planned.

I get to the staff kitchen that day and I’m talking with the morning chef and he walks me over to a large pot, and says “I got complaints that you didn’t make rice the other day, so I just finished making it for you today.” I had been sabotaged! I wasn’t about to just throw it out, but I felt guilty putting rice out on the line again. Sigh, you can’t please everyone when you are cooking the staff meal. And since the majority eat, sleep, and breathe rice, it appears that it is what they get all the time. I’m going to continue to fight the no rice battle as long as I can, and may even take a page out of my mother’s book of “This is what I made for dinner if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it.”

All talk about rice and the never ending war to eat something else besides rice for the next 6 months aside, I have had fun cooking in the staff kitchen. And I’m looking forward to being able to work more in there and play with the almost full and unlimited resources at my disposal.

That is all for now Chef Fans stay tuned as my Jupiter adventures continue…

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5 Comments on “Cooking for the Masses”

  1. Tori December 26, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Lol, you never told me about the rice war going on! I love this post. I like knowing more about what you’re dealing with all day. You’re probably right about Jupiter putting people in the Staff Kitchen to test their organizational and time management skills. It’s a smart move! Glad you’re loving it there. Looking forward to hearing more.

  2. leaf52 December 27, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Hurrah for mothers everywhere! And for the fact that some of their lessons carry on down the generations, with insight even! I’m with Tori, this post was nice since it gave us more of a glimpse into what your daily life is like. Maybe serve SOME rice and offer tantalizing other options they can’t resist to ge them to expand into other starches? With great other choices, you could get some converts.

    • Grant Klover December 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      Problem is that if there is rice they won’t eat anything else.

  3. Cre December 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Why dont you try making other Kinds of rice, like saffron, wild, or orzo… switch up their classics just a smidig or maybe add a few things to their white rice, like make a cliantro lime rice like chipotle does =D Love hearing about your battles. trust me i know the feeling. Glad you’ve found your niche!

    • Grant Klover December 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Sadly sis they do that already but still you can only eat rice for so long

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