Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Server and Bread Boy and the Dessert Dilemma

One night, at work, I had a customer complain about his meal. He prefaced the complaint with “You and your bread boy did a really good job, but…” (My coworker, R, had brought bread out to the table for me while I was making drinks.) I got a kick out of the term “bread boy” and have been using it as a nickname. To me, it sounds like a superhero sidekick. I told him we could be the dynamic duo of Super Server and Bread Boy.

When I started this blog, I pictured a lot of it being about my work life and the exhilarating world of food and behind the scenes restaurant drama. I know I haven’t been a frequent poster in general, but I really have had NOTHING to write about regarding The Restaurant because nothing happens there. Quite literally, some days I go in, set up the bar, clean the dining room and watch the door ‘til closing without a single customer. (I really should get a laptop and I could get some blogging done.)

Since I last posted, we have gone through several more chefs and a couple managers. The menu has been changed to very simple steaks, seafood, and pasta, and now The Restaurant doesn’t want to hire a new “chef”, just “good cooks”. So we have been through several good cooks. I think we have two cooks right now. We have had about twenty come and go.

One of the areas that is suffering most from our rotating cooks, or overworked cooks, is our dessert selection. I have never been happy with our dessert selection. I am learning that while “cooks” can cook steaks and seafood, even if they are not trained chefs, apparently no one can make a dessert unless he is a “pastry chef”. Almost everyone we have had in that kitchen, when asked to make desserts, has replied, “I’m not a pastry chef”. It is really embarrassing when someone asks to see the dessert tray, to have to say we have only one type of (store-bought) cheesecake. I think this will be especially disastrous on Valentine’s Day. So I have been trying to think of romantic desserts. The other night, Bread Boy called me and told me he was working on making a Chambord mousse, so he was thinking the same thing about V-day desserts. Last night, a bartender/ manager was printing off dessert recipes and said next Wednesday night he could make some desserts.

It is a week before Valentine’s Day, and we actually do have a lot of reservations for that night, and we have two servers and a bartender taking the initiative to plan and create a dessert menu. I will post what we come up with, but be forewarned, we are not pastry chefs.


Chef Kevin said...

While I am actually a pretty good dessert person, I just don't enjoy making them. For some reason I just don't get "the high" that I get from cooking apps, entrees, etc. That and until I put together one of my Grand Marnier-Chevre Cheesecakes, I can cook a whole meal.

But I know what you mean. When I was more involved in the biz, I'd hire line cooks that couldn't make a simple custard. They were "line cooks" and desserts and prep work were "beneath" them.
Either they weren't taught or didn't care to learn.

Jennifer said...

It's sad that your work is so poorly managed that 3 staff members have all noticed this problem (lack of desserts for V-day) and management has not. (Or, if they have, have chosen to ignore it.)
It seems like they could hire someone to make the desserts (not just for V-day, but for everyday)... if not directly as an employee, they could contract it out, letting the person use their kitchen early in they day before service starts...