The slow evenings.
I know you’re wondering: what do cooks do when there’s nothing going on in the restaurant?
Well, we’ve been having some slow evenings during the week. Some are VERY SLOW. Sometimes I make two salads and two desserts all evening. I’m told this will change soon due to the upcoming snow/ski season. We are a ski resort, after all. But until then, all the line cooks go stir crazy for about six hours during service when there is no one to serve and no food to prepare.
One night, my co-worker made deep fried chicken and chicken skin. And then he made two awesome dipping sauces to go with it. The one on the left is blue cheese, buffalo sauce, and basil aioli. The one on the right is a basic Asian-style dipping sauce (soy-based). Yum! I had never had deep fried chicken skin before, and it is pretty much the best ever.
Visiting Chef Venoy was inspired to make cheese balls out of the contents on our cheese plates. The cheese plates have stone fruit chutney, salted pistachios, honeycomb, and a selection of cheeses on them. In the photo above, you can see how Chef Venoy rolled up one of the bloomy rind cheeses and stuffed it with the nuts, chutney, and honey. Then he dipped it in batter and deep fried it. Unfortunately, the cheese melted through the batter, and all we had left at the end were empty balls of batter.
So basically, on slow nights, we get to explore ingredients and test new ideas. Some of the cooks get very creative, and some creations can even lead to certain specials!
Other tasks on slow night include data input for me, as we are currently revising our menu. I’ve been typing up recipes, recipe cost sheets, menu cost sheets, and other relevant documents for future use. Also, there is always cleaning to be done. On slow nights, I generally take a little more time to wash down my station in more detail since on the busy nights, there isn’t always time.