Monday, May 18, 2015

Right away, Chef!

Right away, Chef.

This phrase is something I have heard consistently throughout my time at UMD dining services and now at my final (yes, final!) rotation at Riderwood Village. Megan and I have been channeling our inner ‘Chef de Cuisine’ as we develop menus, search recipes, and learn the inner workings of a commercial kitchen.

Both Megan and I have a passion for cooking and all things delicious, so when we found out our last two rotations of the internship would allows us to cut, chop, and slice our way to the end we couldn’t be more excited. Our first week at Riderwood was a little unconventional because our fellow classmates were also here and we were helping (trying to) execute and assist with their theme meal, Fabulous French Bistro, YUM! This first week was especially important because we had the opportunity to see how the event would run and make mental notes of things we liked and areas where we could improve, although it was pretty perfect!

When researching and brainstorming ideas about a potential theme meal, we were looking for something with not only a tasty food selection, but also a theme that could provide great history and atmosphere for the guests. We wanted our theme meal to have a strong cultural background and give a different dining experience than a traditional dining room setting. While brainstorming, Cinco de Mayo was right around the corner and our senses were engulfed in Spanish foods, from sight to smell. Our love for variety and trying an assortment of foods led us to a Spanish Tapas theme meal.

Megan and I should be named the Dynamic Duo because with her keen eye for developing beautiful infographics (she has taught me so much!) and my organizational and writing skills we have come up with some great ideas and are looking forward to wowing the residents.

As much as you can plan, if you can’t cook or aren’t familiar with the kitchen now is the time to start. My time spent in the kitchen has been incredible, the hours fly by and I have already developed great relationships with the staff, welcoming me as their own. I am so impressed by the beautiful knife skills and consistency of products produced. Working the dinner service is both exhilarating, stressful, and has taught me the importance of teamwork and good communication.

I am so excited for our theme meal in just a few more weeks and experience the true Spanish culture!

Happy, healthy eating,

Anastasia Maczko

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