Straight from Chef Dan : Part One

December 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

Another masterpiece

I asked our battle-tested commander-chef to reflect on bringing Cornelia’s holiday meals together, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Eve. Here’s what he had to say about November’s 400 plate operation…

“Thanksgiving, I love the holiday. It’s great fun to bring so many families together and give them a feeling of home with great food.  It has mushroomed from a smallish day to to this fantastic event, the joyful start of holiday season, before we have become worn by the weather, gift buying stress and party frenzy.

How do I accomplish this? By starting to plan for next year when the last turkey with gravy and stuffing has just left the kitchen.  We write all the great ideas that worked (or didn’t) as each owner, chef, pastry chef and manager gives their perspective of the day and their suggestions for the next. Good notes are very important–the battle plan.

Staff, my amazing crew, make me able to pull off this event from our two small kitchens.  Every Kitchen Staff is on hand to anticipate the waves of customers. They work like a family, each having a specialty, whether washing the gravy pot or carving the turkey.  Most of my crew has been with me over 10 years, so they know a lot!

My Purveyors: Pino’s Prime Meat Market for the thirty-three farm raised turkeys he butchers for me.  Ron McDonald Vegetable Produce Company provide the hundreds potatoes that we make into yummy mash. Selig Dairy Company provides the cream and eggs for our pumpkin pies.  You need great supplies, and these guys really deliver!

Finally there’s the Front of the House. Nicola, our General Manager is truly amazing. She takes the flood of calls, hand picks the staff, then works with every detail starting when school starts in September till Thanksgiving day.

Then all a have to do is cook…and cook.”

More to come soon!


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