At Per Se, the importance…

At Per Se, the importance of staff meal takes on an almost religious intensity. "The fascination was simply in seeing how ingredients were alchemized, how that same English cucumber, vacuumed, compressed and barely recognizable in a Sunday-night salad, became the dice in a fine, simple yogurt sauce Monday afternoon for a North African family meal of lamb and falafel." I loved staff meal when I worked in a restaurant. We were always trying to one-up each other with what we could come up with based on left-overs and what we could use. Stuff like fish was off-limits because of its cost, so it forced everyone to be creative, but also experimental.

5 thoughts on “At Per Se, the importance…

  1. While working with Mercy Ships (which I still currently do) everyday on the hospital ships are like that…we run the kitchens of humanitarian/mission oriented hospital ships that are driven by donations and volunteers….
    Yes, we have a budget for food, but its the equivalent of ‘family/staff meal’ every meal for 400+ people.
    Definitely gives you an education in creativety and being resourcefull while trying to put out an excellent meal every time.
    We mostly work with non-trained or no experience people in the kitchen because of the fact that its volunteer. SO get your yellow fever shot and passport, fill out an apllication for Mercy Ships and I will see you in Liberia or Sierra Leone to provide you with an ongoing education that will make you a ‘professional’ in this skill. Not to mention the travel and cultural experience you will glean from working with us.
    Its open for 2 weeks up to a year, or if you like they will probably let you stay for the rest of your life!

  2. If only all restaurants fit this perfect example. Where I worked, we had family meal but no one was excited about making the meal. We were certainly resourceful with the leftovers, but it was more about sustenance than making something creative. The kitchen was certainly full of professionals, but everyone was busy and frustrated so family meal was just another chore, unfortunately.

  3. Hub and I ate one of the top 5 restaurants here (Santa Fe, NM). I struck up a conversation with our servers and discovered, to my horror, that they do not get a family meal. I still shake my head at this.
    Is it becoming more common? Is it because we are in a relatively small town?

  4. I got the sense from the latest post on Waiter Rant that joyful, lavish staff meals (or even any staff meals) are largely a quaint and bygone idea in most restaurants, sadly.

  5. I think you are RIGHT (to the last comment)!
    Bring back the Staff meals!!!

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