Tue May 06, 2014 11:42 pm
And I quote verbatim "We need to stop this shit and go to a ten item farm to table menu." My jaw about hit the floor. It's the first time I've really been in full agreement with her. Sometimes she gets so stressed when there is nothing that can be done. The reason for that stress is having an exhaustive menu of simple dishes that entirely get swapped around by customer request.
It just makes sense to have farm to table. We can't turn the tables fast enough because there is too much stuff. I think it makes entirely too much sense to use the highest quality items meticulously sourced for economical prices and quality. This summer season is upon us and if we were doing a farm to table cuisine for reasonable prices in our hole in the wall dining room I think we'd go further.
How do you folks feel about simplicity? I'm sure some of you folks have worked at places where too much is trying to be achieved at the expense of quality.
Wed May 07, 2014 7:05 am
"farm to table" is the big catch phrase these days. But, in this case, a catch phrase is not necessarily a bad thing. Too many restaurants have HUGE menus and it just does not translate well. As you said, you then usually end up with a bunch of sub par items. Do less items, and do them well. And you will have less waste...Makes perfect sense!!!!
Wed May 07, 2014 8:47 am
For a very short time, I was watching Ramsey's restaurant nightmares (American and British versions), and this was always his go-to fix. I think simple menus that make places distinct is better for consumers and better for business. It leads to better cooking, clear kitchens, better product control, better ingredient consistency and control, etc.
Farm-to-table or not, simple menus should focus on seasonal availability and the chef's talents (as well as the demographic or atmosphere of the place). I live on the upper west side of NYC see both worlds; I strongly prefer the smaller places that only try to have a single-page menu that focuses on strengths, rather than the bigger places with multi-page menus that are generally perceived as more mediocre as well (although invariably higher cost and more upscale).
Wed May 07, 2014 9:28 am
A restaurant should try to use the best ingredients it can manage considering the price range. Sometimes this does mean farm to table. For some ingredients, not so much. I get a personal local produce delivery every week. I hate it when they throw in onions because, honestly, I can't tell the difference. But something like local strawberries strawberries is much better. I like that restaurants are moving toward local and more environmentally friendly options, but it's a gradual thing as local sustainable infrastructures develop. We can't all be Noma.
Wed May 07, 2014 10:07 am
for some places it works the best for others not so much, depending on your local... and your levels of business... hard to be certain that you will be able to get the product consistently... I am a huge advocate of supporting your local farms and markets as best as you can but for some running a strict farm to table place isn't feasible. trend wise however it will probably help bring a few extra patrons through your doors as well as giving you a ton of freedom to experiment with some great products while not being held back by doing the same menu all the time..
I grew up on a family farm and have the utmost appreciation for the way food is grown/raised especially if it is done with the what is best for the animal/product in mind.. the sad thing is that in Canada its hard for a small operation to have control of what happens to there product after it leaves the farm.. take our cattle for example.. we raise certified black angus until about 16-18months of age on pasture and home harvested hay ( never chemical sprayed no gmo etc... ) then they get sold to a feed lot and what happens next is out of our control, sure we could finish them ourselves, sell strait to a butcher but the extra cost invested dosent equate to a gain.. then it just makes it worse to know that all the hard work you put into the land and animal isn't transferred to the consumer...
on the other hand at least 50% of our sheep/goat herd is sold privately to a small family butcher shoppe in the city, mostly to be sold over greek easter... they come back to us every year with a list of compliments from there customers at the quality of our product.. that is a nice thing to hear...
sorry for the rant, I know its a bit off topic but man it gets me going...
I think if you can make some good contacts with some good honest people producing stellar ingredients and then take them back to the restaurant and treat them with the same amount of respect the farmer did you have a winning combination for sure
so by all means umberto give your boss the push and start working on the contacts..
Thu May 08, 2014 8:13 am
I hate it when the bosses wife is right.
Sat May 10, 2014 2:49 pm
She's always right and her husband who has over 30 years of culinary experience is always wrong...Mainly the customer is always wrong for wanting to split entrees three ways and add a side of another entree to the plate, to be shared with two other people on two other plates
My salads got sent back twice this week, also many of the Cesear salads went to the garbage. My boss blamed me...but finally admitted that he left the components of the dressing sit out too long. We got slammed the dressing wasn't made till after the shift...
Old egg yolks+ old anchovies=Bad!
Sat May 10, 2014 10:46 pm
You mean your place of employment doesn't have a ten acre garden?! I'm spoiled by my new job >:)
Love simple menus. Old place was a pain in the tuckus with everything a la carte.
Sun May 11, 2014 12:33 am
No ten acres...but I got 10 tomatoes in the back yard and just today I noticed about 6 more volunteers...I can't tell what variety they are...If they turn out to be potato leaf variety black tomatoes I'll be one happy camper. But I suspect they are mutated sungold strain.
Mon May 12, 2014 10:41 am
rodneyat wrote:"farm to table" is the big catch phrase these days. But, in this case, a catch phrase is not necessarily a bad thing. Too many restaurants have HUGE menus and it just does not translate well. As you said, you then usually end up with a bunch of sub par items. Do less items, and do them well. And you will have less waste...Makes perfect sense!!!!
Exactly, instead of doing 10-15 items extremely well, the industry tries to pump out a 25 item menu where all the food is sub par. Thank god for specials, other side I think I would go insane.
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