We all agree it is hard to believe that the first day of the last month of the year is here...already. Perhaps the reason some people really push the Holiday Season - trees up, house decorated, gifts wrapped - is so they can slow down the month of lights and make it last a little longer, before entering into the true depth of the long winter months that follow. I'm all for that.
For Kevin, the beginning of December marks his deadline for having his New Year's Eve menu written and planned. He wants to have all the details hammered out by the end of this first week. He's got the menu written, except for some final tweaking. He's been working on it for over a month already. New Year's Eve, to him, is the showcase event of the year, where he gets to pull out all the stops and present an evening of food that challenges his creativity and sparks enthusiasm in his dining clientele. His restrictions? Costs of course: it has to be priced within the reach of our customers' willingness to pay for the extra labor and higher food costs such a menu entails. And that labor must be able to execute the more complicated prep work that goes into the varied special presentations. Kevin has to plan out who can do what, and if there is no one who can do that, then that is not going to be on the menu. The menu will most certainly involve prep strategies that are foreign to some of our cooks, plus ingredients that might be entirely new to others. It's a recipe for disaster for a less experienced Chef. And we have had some disasters, trust me. But for the most part it is a very exciting event, both for those preparing for it and for those enjoying it out in the dining room. As soon as he will let me, I will post the advance copy of this year's menu.