One unofficial slogan of the US Marines is – Adapt and overcome . When they say, “Adapt and overcome” they are speaking of life and death situations.
When I first heard – Adapt and overcome – I was struck by the relevance it held for a professional kitchen. Please know I am in no way comparing being a chef to being a Marine. We do not save lives or place our lives at risk on a daily basis. We do however, need to be prepared, trained and ready to react when things don’t go as planned.
At almost every event I have ever done, there was at least one situation which required swift action and a change in course.
As the Executive Chef for Artful Chefs, adapt and overcome – with a smile, is key. Knowing what to do when our ingredients aren’t there or fresh, is key. Knowing what to do if the oven isn’t working right or isn’t working at all. Knowing what to do if the serving time is suddenly shortened or extended by two hours. And probably the most important, what to do if the dish doesn’t taste right. Not panicking under stress, thinking and discussing options with the team, gathering solutions and finally choosing our course of action. Knowing that the responsibility for the success of the event or dinner party, rests solely on the personal chef in charge, is stressful. But knowing that you have a team of professionals is key. The team must be dedicated and feel a great burden to perform always at the top of their ability.
A case in point, at last week’s team building event, there was a pear salad on the menu. Not one store in a 10 mile radius had ripe pears. I know, I called every one. So I quickly decided three hours before leaving for the chef event to instead bring along two bottle of port. We poached the pears into tender flavorful submission. They were pink on the outside and very pretty on the plate. The only change made to the plan was to add wine and another hour in preparations, and problem was solved.
I am naming this salad “Adapt and Overcome Pear Salad” and I will always remember the source.
If you are facing a daunting dinner party or an upcoming celebration where the dinner party service is giving you nightmares. Do call a professional. If you are in the San Diego county area, Artful Chefs would love to come and help you present a five star event which will be the talk of the town.
Contact us today for information on our staff of professional personal chefs or to inquire about help with an upcoming dinner party service.