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Staff Meals from Chanterelle (Cookbook) Hardcover – August 1, 2000
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Restaurant staff meals are a lot like family meals. In fact, most staffs call it exactly that--the family meal. And the challenges are the same: how to please the palates of people who know precisely what they like, and how to do it in a time- and cost-effective way. In this hefty volume (433 pages of recipes!), David Waltuck, chef and owner of Chanterelle, the award-winning, critically acclaimed restaurant in New York City, shares his solutions to this universal quandary.
The family meal at Chanterelle is a chance for the staff to "take an enjoyable and sociable break from their hectic schedule." Just like at home, they relax, "schmooze," and get to know each other. The key, of course, is that no one is slaving away in the kitchen. Whatever they eat must be made in advance, with minimum fuss, and left to simmer, braise, bake, or roast, until they're ready for it. A number of people share the responsibility for feeding the crew, and the diverse menu reflects the diversity of the staff. From Chicken Soup with Fresh Herbs and Homemade Matzoh Balls to Meat Loaf, Italian Style, to Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemons to Chanterelle's Breakfast Waffles, these recipes are for quintessential comfort food. Restaurant work is physical, so portions must be ample and provide the energy everyone needs to work the next shift. The meals should be flavorful and interesting but appeal to a broad range of eaters. Every one of these extraordinary recipes delivers, from the luxurious Butternut Squash and Bourbon Soup and the tender, braised Lamb Shanks with Tomato and Rosemary to the nut-packed, mildly spicy Chicken with Cashews and the easily elegant Cream Cheese Pound Cake. These recipes can be put together quickly and easily and are either ready in a flash or can be left to cook unattended. There are a few more-elaborate recipes, for celebrations, perhaps, that require a little extra TLC, but between the easy-to-follow instructions and the useful tips (how to clean squid, saving a separated butter sauce, testing fish for doneness, and more), your family and your guests will be well fed--and you will be the hero. Just like the Chanterelle staff sweatshirt says, "Good food and plenty of it." --Leora Y. Bloom
"... has been getting the best buzz of the current cookbooks in release...a chef cookbook unlike any other." -- The Atlantic Journal Constitution
"...a reminder that time at the table is time well spent, and worth honoring with good food." -- COOKBOOK DIGEST
"...a warm and friendly book that celebrates the restaurant tradition know as the 'family meal.'" -- Fine Cooking
"Comfort food epitomized. Staff Meals evokes fond memories of how great food can transform a family's simple gatherings into celebrations." -- Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
"Give your family a treat! We all know what an extraordinary restaurant Chanterelle is, so I'm not at all surprised to see the extraordinary dishes David and Karen Waltuck serve up to their staff 'family' every day." -- Michael Romano, Union Square CafÈ
"I wish I was able to book a table to eat these beautiful dishes." -- Mario Batali, Babbo, Po, and Lupa
"It's a mouthwatering melange of 200 dishes that ordinary people can duplicate in their own kitchens." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"There are great ideas for weeknights...to dishes you can put in the oven and forget..." -- Redbook
"These are the kind of meals you might like to prepare for family and friends." -- Daily News
"Who would have thought that the best fed people in New York are the staff at Chanterelle?" -- Bobby Flay, The Mesa Grill and Bolo
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Top customer reviews
While Chanterelle was open, for thirty years, before the restaurant opened its doors to its customers, the staff –wait staff and kitchen staff all—sat down to eat dinner together. These are the meals they ate. I just got the cookbook and so have only tried one recipe –a great recipe for meat loaf!—but the book is a pleasure to read and laid out in a way that is both pleasing to the eye and easy to follow. I’ll probably try the recipe for fish and chips next. I know enough about cooking to appreciate what I read, both as to techniques and the actual composing of a meal. If I turn out to be disappointed by it later on as I try more recipes, I’ll report it but I doubt that will happen.
I suppose there’s no urgency in recommending a cookbook that was published fourteen years ago but good is good and people should know it. Staffmeals is a classy, useful book, and like all good cookbooks, fun to read.
Now on to the book itself! I love a little bit of the history and stories included in the book along with the very delicious recipes! It isn't all gourmet like the kind people like me are too lazy and inadequate in the kitchen to follow but it has recipes for the soul cooking, make you feel good like chicken and dumplings, Italian meatloaf, hamburger (not your typical hamburger either), sloppy joe, etc. I love the small sections on how to find the best bacon, bay leaves, etc. pointers on how to get he most out of your herbs, like crumbling them in your fingers before dropping them in (yes I am that bad in the kitchen,) and how to make chicken stock, fish stock, etc.
The variety of recipes are very diverse, from American (hamburgers, corn dogs, etc) to Italian to home made matzoh balls to Chinese (sweet and sour soup, Chinese meatballs, etc).
Highly recommend his to everyone, for the advanced and to the no so advanced!!!!
The recipes are a perfect balance between the chef's table and grandma's table. I have tried about 60% of the recipes and there was only one that I did not enjoy. My favorites are the butternut squash with bourbon and black bean soups, the sloppy joe and the pickled salmon with wasabi sauce.
There are no glossy pictures, it is a humble two-color printing. The recipes, cooking tips and narratives are so engaging that you probably won't notice that the pictures are missing.
Buy this book for you and then worry about getting it for your friends.