Restaurant Camp, Day 2: Decisions and a Tour

Kitchen Kid Campers!When I arrived at Kitchen Kid Camp for Day 2, Kylie rushed up to me with a smile on her cute little face.  “We’re going to be deciding our restaurants today!” she told me with excitement.  I smiled back.  I was so excited!

After lots of debating (at least a half hour), Leslie called out, “So I guess our winners are … a Filipino kitchen and a dessert bar!”  Wiley, Sabrina, and I were cheering for the fact that our idea had come out as a champion!  We split into groups to decide some concepts for our restaurant.

Kylie, Wiley, Sabrina, Joycie, and I were all in the “Sugar Coma” group.  Dylan wandered over, even though her sister and best friends were in the Filipino kitchen group.  “I figured that desserts would be more fun than a Filipino kitchen,” Dylan told us.  We were fine with that!  Caryn told Stella, Max, and Alex, who were undecided, to go to the Filipino kitchen, because they had fewer employees than us.

We started on a new list of ideas – good ideas.  Our instructor announced, “So here are our winners:  Name – Sugar Coma.  Theme – Hospital.  Menu – Chocolate Fondue, Peach Tarte Tartin, and Kitchen Kid-Style Canolis with Ice Cream.  Anything else?”

“Megan and I can design the menu and logo,” Dylan exclaimed.

“Sure!”

We got to work.  After lots of brainstorming, our final logo was a big red hospital cross with “Sugar Coma” written across it.  Three scoops of ice cream were piled next to the “A” in “Coma,” and a hospital heart rate monitor was strung across the bottom.  It looked just like this:

********

Listening to a Line Cook“Time to go to MB Post!” Caryn said as she rounded us up.  We were ready for a tour of this new, popular restaurant in Manhattan Beach.  When we got there, Chef Ray (MB Post’s talented soux chef) showed us around.  First, we met MB Post’s prep chef.  This chef cuts up all of the raw ingredients and, well, prepares every ingredient before they are combined and cooked.  Next, we met the pastry chef.  He was very creative with his dishes, and the wonton-like dessert he was making that moment looked irresistable.

“Did you go to cooking school?” I asked.

He replied, “Actually, I went to pastry school.”  I was intrigued by this.  I didn’t know that there was a culinary school other than chef’s school.

Then we walked through MB Post’s walk-in refrigerator.  It was cold and felt good.  There was so much fresh produce.  I saw shelves of fruits and vegetables that had to be from the farmer’s market that Chef Ray talked about later.

When we left the sweet-smelling, mouth-watering refrigerator, we took a seat in MB Post’s family-style dining room.  “Here, I am going to talk to you about decor, menus, and decisions, as I understand you are putting on your own restaurants on Friday,” Chef Ray explained.

“Mainly, our menu is designed with the focus of fresh, seasonal ingredients.  Here at MB Post, we produced dishes made of only the most ripe components.  We take pride in the sensational feeling that comes out of our food and our spirit, so we choose menu items that not just our diners will enjoy, but also foods that we chefs are passionate about.”

“As for decor,” he continued, “this building used to be a post office.  Here on the walls, we have paint marking parcels, air, etc.  We thought it would be great to intensely get into this building’s long history as a theme.  For your restaurants, I suggest thinking of a solid theme for your restaurant.”  (“Check,” I thought in my head, as I shared a smile with Sabrina.  We had a great theme in mind!)

“The decisions are harder,” Chef Ray went on.  “Deciding jobs, dealing with money, and getting business, for example.  You have to be precise with the way you work.  Make sure you listen to what your client’s want, as well as your fellow chefs.  Just stopping to look around at what needs to be done, and admiring what you have accomplished, can boost your confidence and give you inspiration.  Also, don’t forget to praise yourself whenever possible.  Think on the bright side,” he concluded.  “But right now, it is time for ice cream.”

Sundaes!Two line cooks brought out mini-sundaes.  We were so excited!  They looked very original and they tasted luscious!  They all had a decent amount of heavenly chocolate sauce and some black cherries on top.  What a great end to the tour!

After walking back to the Manhattan Beach Neptunian Ladies Club building, it was time to leave.  We had Wednesday off because of the Fourth of July, but I was so excited to return!

 

(Photos courtesy of Samantha Barnes, Founder of Kitchen Kid.  Thanks!)