The Art of Food

Recently, I got a new job at in an Atlantic City gourmet restaurant. The training process is intense and highly confidential (which is why I can’t disclose the exact name of the restaurant). People often vary on what they think “Fine Dining”  is. Based on my experience so far, I can say it is much different than the chain restaurants I’ve worked for in the past. Sure, I was taught how to serve food and deal with customers. But I was never required to become an expert on the product I am selling.

My new serving job entails a complex training process where I must learn every ingredient to all the menu items. I studied all the salads and fried foods for a written test today. If I pass this exam, I move on to the grilled section. It isn’t just “Oh, this salad has tomatoes, red onions, and a vinaigrette dressing”. Instead, it’s detailed and specific. Julienne tomatoes, Greek-style herb-vinaigrette made with thyme, basil, and oregano, napa cabbage, haricot vert. It’s a whole new world.

I also have become aware of all the different food allergies. Every dish has about four or more  allergies so it is important to study what has dairy, shellfish, cilantro allergies, etc. Also, cooking styles are way more than grilling a chicken breast. I’ve learned that braising is the cooking method of browning food in fat at a low heat for a long period of time in order to tenderize the food and develop flavor as their fibers are broken down. And this is just one of the 22 cooking techniques I am required to explain to the customers!

I have a new respect for fine dining facilities. It is much more complex and takes a great knowledge of food, customers, cultures, and creativity to create the dishes served at my restaurant. You may not want to study food, but my suggestion to everyone is take a real hard look at the menu the next time you go out. It is very interesting to think about every little ingredient and method that goes in to creating your food!

Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 11:39 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like training is really hard! Good luck, it will be worth it. I’m definitely visiting you once you get into the swing of things.

  2. […] first professional massage, going to my first stand-up comedy show, joining Twitter, and learning about fine cuisine. Check them out!! Published […]

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