The Decision

Me: Where’s Poco de Chile?

Sous Chef Billy Joel: He’s suspended until Monday. He got into it with Big D’s girlfriend and was sent home.

Me (out loud): Oh, that’s too bad. He wanted me to bring in a few new potential menu items.

Me (in my head): Are you fucking kidding me? I just spent the majority of the week – including all of my Saturday – and my cash trying develop new menu items that HE asked for and he’s not even here to try them. What a fucking waste of time!!

I spent the next hour trying to ply the tart and cheesecake of the other sous chefs, servers and Big D’s girlfriend. The comments were good – good balance, good texture, good flavor. But, let’s face it, NONE of these people can make the final decision.

I finally had a minute with Big D:

Me (casually): Hey D, try these. I brought in a few ideas for desserts.

Big D: Oh, I can’t, I’m on a diet.

Me: You wanted me to bring in ideas for desserts, try them so you can see if you want them on the menu. (Thankfully, D’s girlfriend stepped in with a “try them, they’re good”).

Big D: OK, I’ll take a small bite. (he tries them) Mmmm, that’s is really good. I like that one (points as he walks out).

That’s it? Okay…now what? I’m using my personal time to develop the perfect addition to the dessert menu and I get less of a comment than my tasters? What am I supposed to do with that?

I cornered him a little later in the night – asked him what next steps would be. He said he needed a food cost. I don’t have his prices – he needs to do that. I gave him the recipe (and emailed him another copy today) and, now, it’s in his hands.

I’m doubtful my dessert will ever make it onto the menu. I’ll mention it again to Pico de Chile next week.

But, for any of you interested, the winner is: White chocolate lemon tart with ginger shortbread crust.

Tart – Round 2

It’s all in the crust.  I changed it to a pressed shortbread a’ la lemon bars and it worked perfectly.  I played with three versions – ginger shortbread, ginger cardamom shortbread (I don’t like this combo, but it DID place #2 so I thought I’d try it again) and ginger shortbread with a white chocolate layer between crust and custard. 

I also whipped up a lemon swirl cheesecake with a gingersnap crumb crust. 

My tasters narrowed it down to the cheesecake and the tart with the layer of white chocolate.  Now the tricky part – the final decision:

Them:             They’re both good.

Me:                  But which one do you like better

Them:              I don’t know, they are both good and completely different

Me:                  OK, but if you were going to order one of them for dessert…

Them:              I’d order crème brulee. I always order crème brulee.

Me:                  Crème brulee is not a choice.  If there are only two desserts on the
menu – the tart and the cheesecake, which one would you order?

Them:              I wouldn’t order a lemon dessert. But if someone gave me either I would be happy.

Me:                  If you had to ORDER one…

Them:              So, you’re saying  the dessert CAME with the meal and I had to order…then I’d ask the server which one they liked better.

Me:                  OK, let’s say the server said both of them were good.

Them:              I would ask the server if the cheesecake was New York style. I don’t like York Style cheesecake, it’s too dry.

Me:                  I don’t like New York style either.  So the server says, “no”.

Them:              I’d order the cheesecake.