Our kitchen King is having a very bad week. So much to do, so little time, so little help. His right hand man - Jay the sous-chef - has been out all of this week with some kind of severe stomach virus. Luckily we began to put Dionna on the schedule at 11AM last week, and this week she is learning to work Kevin's station on the lunch line, but there is so much prep that only Jay does. That leaves it for Kevin to do, as well as doing his own work. We've managed to staff the line at night, thanks in large part to Mandrell stepping up to that plate, which is lucky, but still, it is too much. We want these last four weeks to be fun! a time for Kevin to pull out all the stops and fool around a bit with the menu. Well, that is not happening this week anyway. Hopefully next week Jay will be revived and the show can begin. Meanwhile, we have read the riot act to the remaining kitchen crew that we just cannot deal with any absences.
And the same is true of the dining room. I'm down to 2.5 bus people. Thank god for new-girl Gabrielle, who is working 9 shifts a week! Bussers are a serious cog in the service wheel. They can pretty much make or break the servers night, and I'm not sure the servers really even realize that!! But I do, and I am grateful to have found someone who wants to work these last few weeks, knowing it is not a forever job. Between Gabrielle and Tyler, I have the weeknights covered, with Mallory picking up the slack on Thursday and Friday, while Leah will do a double on Saturdays. We are sure cutting it close though, with no room for error. No one in the DR is allowed any time off either, from now until September 21st! Can we make it?
And, of course, since we are winding down, we have been very busy. Particularly at lunch...
Last night was a relatively mellow night, probably since I had asked Meg to cover the bar...
Which is what happened next - I followed the plate to the table and asked the guest could I take a picture as she cuts the orb open? SBF veal and rice stuffing revealed.
Cream caramel was for dessert. I feel like we should have this on the menu for the next three Wednesdays, since I don't know when I will ever have this classic dessert again! My recipe - and yes, these are still my job - dates back to the Ironstone days, as do the little blue cups that we used back then. Now the blue cups mostly hold the chocolate pudding cakes! I think we have ten left - 28 years old! Just like me! ha!
Swordfish with tomatoes and bacon one way...
...and here it is with the same basic garnishes, done another way! Both look pretty tempting.
St. Brigid's Farm veal gets gilded with those same roasted tomatoes, but instead of the lemon butter sauce that is on top of the fish, there is found some melted mozzarella.
And last night I guess I was just hungry, because the piccolo frito looked so good! I had to take a picture.
Many of you have asked me what the staff was going to do after Brooks Tavern closes on September 20th. While Mr. Wong has suggested he will have jobs for the majority, most already have found other outlets for their various talents. Rayvon and Dashon have secured positions at Heron Point - Rayvon began working there on the weekend a few months ago and Dashon will start when we part ways here. Sheronda - the one I was most worried about - has accepted a position at Barbara Esmonde's new spot in Betterton, Barbara's on the Bay. She will be a huge asset to that start-up, this I know. Tiffany and Antwan are still unsure, but they both have Barbara's number, as does Dionna. They may choose to stay on Mr. Wong's payroll, if possible. Mandrell is considering taking a job down at the Outlets. Jay says that Mrs. Jay tells him that he can't take a new job until he finishes working on their house... As for the Dining room servers, Ashley already has gotten established with her house cleaning business, which is actually beginning to take over her life, apparently. Jenn has accepted a position with the Queen Anne's County public school system and Mallory will begin to work full time in her mother's salon near Kennedyville. Only Nicole and Lisa remain unaccounted for. Nicole may just wait out her pregnancy and start a new job after the first of the year. Lisa is basically undecided, but if someone is smart, they will grab her up!
Labor Day weekend this weekend, which traditionally marks the end of summer. We sure got gypped this summer. I made only one batch of popsicles. We never took Ruby swimming. We ate no sno-cones. There have been no sweltering sleepless nights. The electric bill has not hit quadruple digits. We haven't fried any eggs on any sidewalks, nor have we had any fainting in the kitchen. What kind of summer has this been? One for the record books.