Guest Post by Chef Amanda

As I chased a server down the hall this weekend, the Sous Chef witnessed the change from my mellow demeanor to panic state. What the oblivious server did not understand is that you mess with the house made bread you mess with the bread baker. As a pastry chef, I am passionate about the quality of products that are given to our guests. Whether be bread or pastry. But if you have ever met a true bread baker, they take it to the extreme. Bread bakers actually nurture there pre-ferments, caress the bread dough, and listen to the whispers of the crackling crust. One thing we do have in common, if there was a blinding snow storm that caused a state wide power outage, we will travel far to prevent our 50 year old starter from dying due to the extreme heat of 60 degrees and to forestall our French boules from over proofing. Even though this server was warned by the Executive Chef not to stack the trays of Parker House Rolls on top of each, he did it anyways. When I turned to view the situation, my adrenaline rushed. My bread was being crushed! Hours spent on proofing, energy consumed on shaping, and skillful precision for baking! Yes. I ran after him and started shouting. These rolls were only baked a few hours earlier. They were in a sensitive state. Luckily, the Executive Chef beat me to the punch and rescued my bread.

Jenny writes each week her enjoyment and passion for running. Only a special group of people can poetically describe her journeys. One of my passions is the quality of bread I create. Yet, I’m looked upon as crazy when it’s not treated properly. What are you passionate about, that other people may not understand?


Christmas Season and your Chef

This season isn’t only busy for the retail or warehouse worker, but for the food service too. Companies book their Christmas parties, business men treat their best clients for dinner, spouses are too exhausted to cook, and the list goes on. Servers will have to work harder for the extra tables or shifts to accommodate the volume of guests. Cooks will receive 40 hours each week for the month of December, if not a little bit of overtime (its common for cooks to work an average of 35 hours per week the rest of the year). The kitchen managers will work 6 days a week, with 12-18 hour days. There will be limited bathroom or water breaks to prepare for service. Heads are down, knives are moving, and energy drinks are being chugged. Every night is going to be a busy night!

Be patient with your chef friend or family member during this season. They have limited time to shop for gifts and set-up decorations. No, they can’t attend your Christmas party that’s held on a Saturday. There’s not only a full house at the restaurant, but all the private dining rooms are filled to maximum capacity too. Most of all, do not request (or expect) a spectacular dish from them for your holiday dinner. They are exhausted and probably in a poor mood.