Off the Menu

Off the Menu

Staff Meals From America's Top Restaurants

Book - 2011
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Takes a look at what the staff in some of country's best restaurants eat before opening for business.Presents more than 100 recipes from over 50 American restaurants, accompanied by a brief profile of each restaurant.
Publisher: New York : Welcome Books, 2011
Characteristics: 287 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781599621029 (hbk.)
1599621029 (hbk.)
Call Number: 641.5 GUGGIANA


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ksoles Feb 12, 2013

The average diner may assume that, in restaurant kitchens, the staff members eat the same food that they prepare for customers. But time and expense make such practice prohibitive; instead, the best chefs in the country use limited resources to feed their co-workers creative, delicious and filling meals. Author Marissa Guggiana spent months on the road researching staff meals at 50 of America's best restaurants. She explains that these "family dinners" serve as a ritual to bring employees together and develop a sense of camaraderie. Along with each staff meal is an "Escoffier Questionnaire" where chefs talk about influential books, favorite hangover meals, food trends they'd like to see die, and where they go for coffee, breakfast and basic groceries.

Simple but excellent-sounding recipes include Tomato, Fennel and Seafood Stew (Kansas City's Bluestem); Bigoli With Anchovies, Chilies and Garlic (Seattle's Tavolàta); and Red Beans and Rice (New Orleans' Herbsaint). Unfortunately, because Giggiana presents the recipes alphabetically by the names of the restaurants, finding a recipe for something specific requires a fair amount of browsing. But, ultimately, this unique book highlights an often-ignored aspect of restaurant dining and the beautiful photos showcase both the food and the line cooks (as opposed to the star chefs), giving each restaurant's support crew their chance in the spotlight.


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