Monday, 29 October 2018

                            The kitchens of Calgary

                                                      An Update

Daily work
As you already know I work mostly in Buffo Ristorante. All of our dishes components are created in house and we place great importance on using traditional Italian ingredients and cooking techniques. We serve the traditional and basic Italian dishes (caprese salad, spaghetti Pomodoro, etc) but there's a true skill set and concentration needed to make sure every dish and its components are as flavourful as possible and to keep it consistent

Braised lamb stuffed tortellini 

As we come closer to the Christmas season days are getting busier and hours are getting longer. I work the usual 5 – 6 days work week, around 8 hours. I work a mix between morning shifts which are made up of 3 hours prep and 5 hours lunch service or night shift which is all dinner service. I work garde manger/pizza section which is where most of our appetisers, salads and stretched to order pizzas are made. There is a pretty good range of salads, bruschetta and antipasti for the table on the menu along with a range pizzas (my favourite has to be our pizza with a tomato béchamel base, confit duck garnished with apples, endive and rosemary honey).
Margarita pizza 

I also work grill/ entremetier section on night shifts where hot appetisers, steaks and fish are cooked and also aid pasta section (definitely the busiest section for every dinner service). I like being able to work all sections of the kitchen, as my Head Chef Michel says “I’m not trying to make a rock star out of you, I just want you to experience it all”.
We do about an average of 60-70 covers for lunch or dinner but every day is different. On the weekends we run a brunch menu which definitely draws a bigger crowd compared to some days during the week. 
"Melon and ham" from brunch menu

      Function work
Having the opportunity to work in restaurants that specifically caters a la carte to switching to a kitchen that solely caters for large functions allows for me to experience both types of operations. Hudson caters more large scale functions and the upcoming months are the busiest they experience all year round, I look forward to get to experience more of their large scale operations.
An average function night in Hudson, from my experience, begins with canapes which usually runs for about half an hour then is followed by first course. We move quickly and begin plating and garnishing salads dressing each one before they go out. 

Caprese Salads
 Once first courses are out we all move straight to the plating area. This is by far my favourite part of working functions. There is a strict set up for every function, we all have our stations along the conveyor belt and are all in charge of a specific component of the dishes (I usually work garnishes and sauces). It’s here where I learned how truly important communication is between front and back of house.  
Main plating area in Hudson

With not much time left here (I leave in just under two months) I am still learning while still having great craic! I look forward to my next semester abroad in the Netherlands, Venlo for college placement while still soaking up every day I have left here in Calgary.
All the friends I have made here so far are all industry so its nice to be able to talk to and spend time with people in the industry while still being able to enjoy work life.

Until next time!
 Danielle Kehoe

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