Our new sales team members discover the world of the GP kitchen.
This morning, we were Chef Rob’s shadow. He covered a variety of topics as we toured the main floor of the kitchen, including the layout of the stations and roles of individual prep cooks, capacity (for both events and staff), allergy accommodations, and the necessity of detail clarification (for example, being mindful of not inputting items like raw chicken when the chef on site only has the tools to reheat food) and vital points of communication (e.g. ordering a labor-intensive dish for an event with a short lead time without checking in with the chef). He also highlighted GP’s commitment to quality food and vendors, emphasizing our dedication to serving fresh proteins within 24 hours of their delivery from our catalog of trusted suppliers.
We had a group of high school seniors join us for the second half of our tour, and Chef Rob led us through the pastry and main kitchens, along with the warehouse and delivery areas. We were told that event chefs and in-house chefs are hired separately, except in circumstances like last night, where Oscar – who spoke to us about his passion for the industry – was afforded the opportunity to work under a Patagonian chef at a high-profile event (and was subsequently requested for a second night!) I was also excited to hear that many of the kids we were touring with knew one of the in-house chefs who had come straight from their program; I think it speaks highly to the quality of staff and company as a whole.
On the whole, I think the tour was a very helpful experience, and allowed us to put names to faces and processes to dishes, tying in our work to that of the kitchen staff. It also helped solidify which questions go to which individuals; Chef Jon briefly pulled us aside to discuss purchasing as he ran out to grab okra from Chinatown. Plus, who doesn’t love wearing a chef’s jacket?
We started with Danica and the design team in their office, where she guided us through their inspiration board, event clipboards, tasting menus, and Illustrator floor plans. After a break for All Call, we returned to their office to discuss past installations and the scope of their capabilities and workload. We were in awe of the incredible variety of details they put into each and every event…there are so many possibilities! They encouraged us to come in with any design or layout-related questions.
Next we headed downstairs to shadow Carlos, Amy, and Chef Mark as they produced the BRIC tasting. We wanted to be helpful without being in the way, so we took charge of taking the tasting photos and running any last-minute errands that needed doing (filling the sugar bowl and retrieving skim milk for coffee, etc). Plus, someone had to taste the food from the “show plates”…just to be safe, of course.
After the tasting, we met with Gabriel and Willie to discuss beverages and scheduling. The moral of that story: the more lead time we can give them in regards to ordering specialty items or changing delivery times, the better. It was helpful to be able to tie those two aspects into everything we learned yesterday in the kitchen (and regarding CaterXpert over the last few days). Next, we followed Nino and Tomas around the warehouse and basement, learning about the two storage facilities in New Jersey and the plethora of available rental options.
Biggest takeaway from these visits? Communication is key!