One More Day

We ended up doing a little 0ver 350 covers tonight and the boys and girls did good! Just one more 16 hour shift and we can put this year behind us. I will admit at one point Aaron, chef de cuisine, and I looked at each other and it was questionable if we were going to make it through today and tomorrow with smooth services but everyone stepped up and put some really nice food out tonight.
The multivac and the berkel got a workout today along with the two polyscience thermal baths. We sous vide all our fish for tomorrow starting with super nice John Dory from Gary's Seafood, Black Grouper, Corvina, Mahi, Mero sustainable sea bass from Koko @ Honolulu Fish Co., and then moved on to the LaBelle Farms foie gras. We use Bruno Goussault spec for most of our sous vide, brining in a 10% salt water solution for 10min, then into a freshwater ice bath then patted dry and bagged with evo. Aaron made the brine yesterday and put it in the freezer overnight. The salinity is high enough so it won't freeze but gives you a nice slushy consistency that holds at about 20F. It keeps your proteins super cold while your processing it so there are no temperature issues to worry about. Then we use a thermocoupler with the hypodermic probe and sponge tape to cook the fish in batches at 56C until they reach 54C. The portions are removed and we let them sit at room temp for 5 minutes, the put them in room temp water for 5 minutes then in an ice bath for 15 minutes. The cooling procedure helps the fish retain moisture so when we sear the skin side and reheat tomorrow they will be perfectly cooked, moist and seasoned throughout. We do season the skin side when searing because we love salty crispy skin, who doesn't? The only issue to worry about is that sous vide fish skins likes to stick so we butter and oil our flat top excessively when searing and let the skin sit until crisp otherwise your portions won't look so hot.
Some people may frown upon cooking ahead of time but this is the way to go when you have 550+ on the books and your are trying to do some nice food. We are working twice as hard to provide our guests consistency and speed of service. We know that in the end our fish will be seasoned, cooked properly, executed in a timely manner, and will provide us that cushion we need to do the numbers. Not to mention it gives us more time to focus on our garnishes.
You can prep all day and all night but that doesn't mean a damn thing if you can't put the food on the plate. We have a good crew, and they are dedicated and focused. As long as the wheels don't fall once we hit 500 covers we will be able to walk away feeling good about service and enjoy the first couple hours of 2010 with some drinks in our hands and some friends to hang with.


  1. This is a great example! We shared it on our facebook fan page with everybody else. Happy New Year!

  2. Good to hear the zoo is doing well chef, good luck in 2010, nice blog too....

  3. good to hear from you pickren, hope all is well. keep checking the blog, some cool new stuff coming up.