Last Wednesday night I was in NYC for a quickie– and stopped to see my cousin (again!) the beverage manager at Strip House, (on 12th st and University Ave–two blocks south of Union Square if you’re in the neighborhood) While our party waited along with many others, for tables to “turn” (“lots of squatters” I believe the GM said) we were impressed on repeated occasions as a table rose to leave, 4-5 employees would immediately descend upon the table, whisk away the empty coffee cups and water glasses–set a new cloth, quickly-carefully place new settings, resulting in a new party being sat literally within a minute or two after the squatters left. GREAT effort and coordination making the wait for the table that much more tolerable.
Last Friday was “Meatloaf day” at the Greater Lowell Boys and Girls Club. If you haven’t already heard, we now assist in feeding 175 kids a day thanks to a new State grant targeting at risk–and hungry–kids. As chef struggles to formulate a fresh, cyclical, delicious and desirable, healthy, no waste, cost effective menu (that also includes “no cheese please” “eeeew, onions are gross”), he is still producing menus “on the fly” as we say. So, at 3PM on this Friday–the food delivery was still not there with the 50lbs of hamburger required. As Chef chopped and mixed all other ingredients while waiting, he contemplated how, by 4PM service time, he would mix, form, sauce, bake, slice and serve 175 portions in an hours time.
How? After mixing the meat with the ingredients, “he rolled out” the meatloaf mixture on four large sheet/cookie pans, packed them down to “sliced” thickness, glazed the surfaces and slid them all in the oven–the “thin sheet” version vs the “loaf” version reducing cooking time by more than 50%. Soon thereafter, out came the pans of steaming, roasted and caramelized meat-cakes (vs sheet cakes!) AND the pizza wheel!!! Zip, zip, zip, zip north and south with his rolling blade, and a few more cuts left to right- and voila! 175 portions of meatloaf-shingles that received rave reviews!
For his next trick…