Sunday, March 9, 2008

Osso Buco means "bone hole"

The weekend at work was pretty uneventful. I had a few tables each night. I like our new chef, G. She is making a new menu; She has been making a chef's special dish each day. She has even been making a dessert each day. This weekend she made cute creme brulees in cappuccino cups, which was a nice dessert and also made good use of the cups since they have been going unused since the cappuccino machine is broken. (Also, for awhile, when Bread Boy and I were contemplating making desserts, C hid the kitchen torch from us, so I was glad he returned it and we can have creme brulees again.) So, overall, it has been great having her, but I have noticed that sometimes she seems , umm, unknowledgeable about things I think a chef should know.

I am not a culinary expert. I am still learning A LOT about food and wine. So I do not want to sound critical. But it is odd, how she could NOT know some things and it may affect some customers' satisfaction. When Owner 2 told us about hiring her, he said she went to a Cordon Bleu school, she cooked him a "ballsy" dish, and the dessert she made looked "very homemade, but had an incredible flavor". He seemed pleased, but hesitant.

G has contributed a lot so far, adding some sauces, demi-glaces, and other additions to some of the dishes, improving the presentations, and making desserts. I felt surprised one day, though, when she came across some Cappicola in the cooler and didn't know what it was. But again, I wouldn't have known either, had we not had it on a previous menu. This weekend, she had bought some precooked "Osso Buco". We have also had Osso Buco on a previous menu and were told Osso Buco was a veal dish. When I did some research about Osso Buco, it always referred to veal. The dish G made was a pork dish. Which, apparently you can have pork Osso Buco, (in fact a customer this weekend told us she had just had pork Osso Buco in Florida). But G had never heard of Osso Buco before and didn't think to specify to us it was pork. I finally figured it out and asked. Also she decided to serve the pork Osso Buco with "Risotto". I served one early in the evening and could tell though that the risotto was not risotto. She just cooked plain Arborio rice and called it risotto. I did not want to question her about it. (I am just a novice server and she is a trained chef.) I just adjusted the way I was describing the dish to customers and said it was served with rice.

I wish I was more assertive or had figured out a way to question her about it though, because it turns out that some customers were really looking forward to actual risotto. G was talking to the party of 6 (who had just had a pork Osso Buco in Florida)and told them she was serving it with Risotto. One woman started going on and on about how much she loves risotto, and maybe she would like risotto even if she doesn't have the Osso Buco. Then another woman said "me too, I am going to get risotto too". This was Bread Boy's table, so I pulled him aside and told him I was worried that these people were really excited about having risotto, and I was pretty sure G had just made rice. So, he went and confirmed this, and had to explain to her what risotto actually is and she tried to "whip some up real quick". Needless to say, the customers were not very pleased.

I just feel so frustrated that it seems we continually take a few steps forward, only to take a few steps back. Luckily, G is very friendly and "down-home" and maybe in the future I will feel more comfortable questioning her if something doesn't seem right to me.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Did your co-worker feel like an ass having to tell the customers that the side was just rice and not risotto? That would be so embarrassing.