“A Tavola” at RUSTIC: Episode 2 – The Food

“A Tavola” at RUSTIC: Episode 2 – The Food


The idea behind it was to create a unique
dining experience for our guests. Basically, it’s a family style service
and a wide variety of food. Upwards of 20-30 different dishes we do. A Tavolas takes place on Tuesday. We really start thinking about
the next one the following day when we discuss what worked,
what didn’t work, culinary speaking. And then also we start thinking about what
may be ripe and available the following Monday and Tuesday when we harvest more
products from the garden for the menu. Are those carrots going to be ready this week? Some of them. They all come on at different times. I’ve got lots of carrots there and
I’ve got lots of carrots over here. That sounds good. It’s really an opportunity to
work with the gardener and bring in products from the
garden that couldn’t be more perfect. The vegetables and the fruits are still living. They are so full of vitamins and minerals
and they’re such high quality. It’s an opportunity for us to
showcase these amazing ingredients and to put them in front of
the guests with little or no fuss. Our job as chefs is to not
mess up Mother Nature. Around Friday or Saturday
we’ll start ideating the menu. I’ll sit together with my sous chefs and
we’ll bounce off ideas based off what’s available and some classic dishes
that Francis likes to see on the menu. Looks pretty good, huh? Yeah. So we antipasti, we got the salads, we have
the pizzas, entrees, sides, desserts, and a couple of good pastas. To make a garden fit a menu
is kind of challenging, so it’s better if the kitchen almost can roll with whatever comes out of the garden. That’s what we do with this Monday harvest
that goes into that Tuesday night meal. It changes all the time. Peeled carrots maybe come into
the back door of the kitchen. Sometimes young cooks don’t get exposed
to vegetables that are so fresh they still have dirt on them, are still kissed
with the warmth of the sun… …and what it takes to prepare that,
from soil to table. We’re trying to farm
by almost the square inch. So here we’re getting a nice harvest of
turnips but it’s in the tomato bed. And then we have onions on the other side,
bunching onions, so trying to make use of all the space, every place where water
falls we’re trying to make use of it. I’m trying to take the biggest ones,
save the little ones for next week. I personally have never worked
in a professional kitchen. It looks a little scary to me. It’s a lot of work.
There is stress and stuff. So I try to get in and get out
and get out of their way. So guys, here’s the back of the kitchen,
this is where this stuff is going to. I try to stay in here as little as possible ’cause I’m the dirtiest thing
that comes into this kitchen, So I’m going to head back out. Tuesday I really look forward to it. There’s a lot of stress involved
because it’s not business as usual. You have to do business as usual plus create
this amazing experience every week. Monday evening into Tuesday morning and right up until service
is where all the preparation begins. So we start preparing all the vegetables,
butchering the meat, making sauces. Up until five o’clock we’re putting the finishing
touches on the menu. It’s really exhilarating to know that you’re using some of the best
products in the entire world that were grown out on your back door. That you’re doing something different, that you’re teaching the
cooks and other chefs new techniques and new dishes. It really is a thrill to be a part of it.

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