Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Night of Service

Five stars means a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of passion, and a lot of hard work.

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I’m still alive. My time at The French Laundry has been very intense, and I have learned so much in the process. My time is almost over, and I have a big surprise to show everyone here after I am done, so don’t give up hope on me yet.

In a given day, the tasks that I am asked to complete are extremely varied. I could be doing anything from picking through pounds and pounds of lettuce greens to find the most perfect leaves to making tomato compote, a sauce that tastes like pure tomatoes. I haven’t had a chance to finish plates, but I have been in the kitchen during service many times, and it is a very awesome experience.

Every person that dines at The French Laundry gets at least nine courses, and for each plate, there are four or five items on each plate, each cooked to perfection. There is a main item (meat, seafood, cheese or vegetable), two or three secondary items (usually starches, vegetables, fruits, and nuts) and a sauce. To make all this happen, there is a head chef, a sous chef, and five chef de parties. There is a chef de partie for the canap├ęs, or the first course, a chef de partie for the salads, a chef de partie for the three seafood courses, a chef de partie for the meat courses, a chef de partie for the cheese course, and two pastry chefs. Every diner can get anywhere from nine to 13+ courses. I say 13+ because if you are considered a VIP, there are special courses that aren’t listed on the menu. And there are two different tasting menus! This means there are 26+ different plates that come out of the kitchen, all cooked to perfection.

I just went through the menu, and I counted about 121+ different items on the menu that are prepared for the entire menu. This is a lot of work, and it takes a very large crew to make it all happen, and happen to perfection.

This is "The Pass" where the chef does most of the plating.

It is a very busy place; hurried, but also very deliberate and intense.

Here, the chef is working on the lobster plates.

The finesse shown by every person in this kitchen is extraordinary.

The small silver plates are for the Black Truffle Custard, a VIP only item.

Here's a picture of the stove on the Canape and Fish stations.

And, a little bit of food: Brined veal tongue with brussels sprout leaves, black trumpet mushrooms on a bed of Tuscan Lentils.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a follower and collegue of Rob Corey. I saw your post and thought I would check it out. Great pics of The Pass from the shadows!