11.23.2009

A dinner for 400



 Have you ever cooked a dinner for 400 people? Well if you haven’t, let me be the first to say, its a lot of fun but you definitely work up a sweat. Stonebridge Country Club (where I work) just had their grand opening after months of renovations. The dinner served 400 people! That means 400 seats, plates, and dinners. The dinner was on a Saturday night but the preparation began the day before. Right after school I changed into my chef clothes (kind of like a superman quick change) and headed over to the club. When I walked in it seemed as if everything was in fast-forward, everyone was moving quickly.  I was put right to work, I counted all the salads, plated the desserts, and marinated all the chicken for the skewers. That night I made sure I slept really well because I was in for an early wake up. I started preparing some of the appetizers such as mini Lobster Pot Pie’s, Clam’s Casino, Monte Crisco sandwich’s (served over tiny mugs of tomato basil bisque) and, and Foie Gras (goose liver). Did you know that Foie Gras is goose liver that’s produced by force-feeding the goose until it explodes (inhumane right?). Anyway it’s been banned in California and over a dozen countries in Europe except France (go figure?).

Early in the evening we began to plate the dinners, half of which would be heated in the giant ovens, and the rest would be made on the line. The dinner that evening consisted of Beef Tenderloin, Potatoes Gratin, Tourne Carrots, and a Spinach Soufflé. I also helped out with making the crab cake balls with “mama” a woman from the Caribbean who is extremely sweet and Chris who has worked the Four Seasons Hotel. I learned how to clean a white fish (who knows when all have to use that skill) and practiced more of my bruniose (basic knife cut measuring 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch.) and a julienne (A basic knife cut measuring 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 2½ inches.). When  the guests began to arrive, Randy (executive chef) put me out on the floor as a server. I served the Foie Gras and the Monte Cristo Sandwiches. The best part of the night was working the line. “ I need two filets” calls the chef “ where are my filets!” he shouts again”. Eager to give this try I shouted, “ yeah, where are his two filets!” everyone quickly looked at me and then turned back to their jobs. After the dessert was served the staff began to clean up and breakdown the kitchen. I gave Randy (Executive Chef) a handshake and said my goodnights to everyone. It was definitely loads of fun and in the end I was really tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.

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