My former coworker, Manny, still sends me incoherent drunk text messages from time to time. I haven’t seen him in like two years since I last worked with him. I’ve told him about my blog and he asked if I have or plan on blogging about him. So ummm yeah…okay. Manny wants publicity and wants to use my blog as a pimping source. Lol just kidding! Manny and I used to work at this country club way back when. He’s been there years before I ever started working there. I still remember the day I first met Manny. He was the only one in the tiny little kitchen that day and he was making sandwiches (catering style…like lots of them). I guess it was for a tournament or to help out with the snack shop (located on the other side of the club). I was there to apply for work at the time. I stumbled into the kitchen and asked the seemingly busy guy (Manny) making sandwiches where I can find the head chef. He told me that he’s probably in the office and was kind enough to stop what he was doing and walked me on over there. And that’s how my camaraderie with Manny first started. This post is not entirely on Manny, but it’s taking me back to my experience at the country when I was working with him….and some others.
Manny (while still working lunch) joined in to help out the dinner team too. It seemed like he was working lunch AND dinner some days. For lunch, they were serving..you know, typical country club food, -sandwiches, quesadillas, burgers, salads…the usual things when you think of country club or golf course food. The new dinner menu was more chef inspired, farm-to-table type of deal. The GM told me to learn everything I can from our head chef because “he’s a rock star”. So in the kitchen, there were about three or four of us each night, including the dishwasher.
So what do I miss about Manny? He used to cook me my meals! When it was time for me to eat, I’d make a request and Manny would cook up whatever I requested. Now that I think about it, I think he and M were the ones making family meals there all the time. I don’t really remember anyone else doing it. Okay, technically, it wasn’t whatever I wanted. We don’t usually get to eat the restaurant’s protein (most of them) as we please. It’s not like I could order a big slab of steak anytime I wanted (the only time we could is when it’s right about to go bad but not bad yet or we have enough leftovers). It was usually something we had on the menu but tweaked and sometimes cheapified. We had some killer duck confit there. I have memories of eating duck tacos (yum) and on flat breads too. So yeah, Manny…I gotta say that I sorta miss you cooking for me lol.
I can say that I had a pleasant experience here. I’ve learned a lot, learned from a renowned chef…never went into starvation mode since I was fed well (by Manny). But again, it was a start up concept that would have become a hit or miss. Most of the diners were members of the club. I think maybe there wasn’t enough marketing and spreading the word to the general public about the new dinner service.
As we started to actually start charging people for the food, we were still keeping busy. Months went by and business started to slow down. There would be some nights when we would have zero customers….like we basically came in, made food, set up the stations all for nothing and for nobody. We’d get excited when a table actually came in..its like wow all those hours of preparing the food and backbreaking labor actually paid off so we can feed two people tonight.
The location was somewhat tricky to find and it was tucked away somewhere where not too many people would drive by or hang out at unless they are members of the club or something. I mean, 90something percent of the people that have dined there have raved on about the food. We had great ratings and reviews on Yelp. But I guess the location and insufficient marketing played a role in the lack of business.
I don’t have too much horror stories to tell from that kitchen. It was an easy ride with less pain in the ass customers. Heck, we hardly had customers!