Six Course Dinner – Pork and Wine

Lamb Belly BLT on the special menu

Lamb Belly BLT on the special menu

Last night’s special dinner menu kicked all of our butts — from the last minute mise en place prep to the new plating to the bombardment of orders so intense that we skipped the ticket system altogether and just relied on Chef to call out for x orders of our dishes. There was no salad on that menu, so I was slammed with the first course — Gloucester spot pork pate with grilled peaches and mint.

That morning, we had another meeting with Chef to go over the menu. I love these meetings, especially because this is the second one where I was treated as a station lead. It feels surreal, like in the movies, where Chef reads out the menu descriptions, assigns each course to a station, and goes over how he wants the dish and its components prepared. I, of course, got the pate first course, and I was asked to make a sweet and sour mint vinaigrette with which to glaze the grilled peaches. But the peaches… those were a pain.

In case you weren’t aware, peaches are not in season in our region at the moment, but the menu was already drawn up and Chef was dead-set on using them. The out-of-season fruit were bland and not quite right. I did my best to salvage them but grilling them as Chef wanted just turned them into burnt-tasting peaches (ripe, in-season peaches would caramelize nicely). Luckily tossing them in the vinaigrette helped, and Chef was happy with my final product.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Peaches

But like I said, as we all scrambled to take our places and prepare for the unusually busy Wednesday evening ahead, we knew it was going to be a difficult one. We just aren’t set up to do tasting course menus, especially not in addition to our regular dinner menu. Just as I was hit hard by the first courses, I had a charc board on order. WTF. It put a huge dent in my game plan, but I kept pushing forward and did my best. It wasn’t until later, when the wave started crashing on the other stations one at a time, that everyone realized just how crazy the night was. Chef congratulated us all on a job well done at the end of the night and let us partake in the leftover lamb rack and its garnishes as a reward.

Of course, I HAD to be assigned Late Night following what was the most intense midweek dinner service in a long, long time. I’m exhausted! Photos to come later.


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