It’s been a very busy few weeks for me but thankfully I have some breathing time and a chance to sit and make some posts for the JWU blog.
One of my big thing these past few weeks has been my Bistro. As a FSM student, you get to take a class called Bistro 4061. Essentially, you get to run a bistro from start to finish. You get put into a management group and you are either a Front of House manager or Executive Chef. Leading up until your Bistro day, you are busy putting everything together. We had to come up with a menu, seating plan, schedules for each member of our staff, plate designs, cost cards, recipes, food ordering, an income statement and some other aspects.
It all leads up to your Bistro day. Bistro meets twice a week and one of those days consists of a double class. So instead of it being 9:20-11:05, it’s 9:20-1:20. The first half is spent getting everything ready. As a FOH manager I was overseeing the set up of the Bistro and organizing our waitstaff. The executive chef is in the back kitchen overseeing all the food prep. Your guests start coming in at about 11:30 and they get treated to a Bistro that is designed by students and executed by students.
Last Monday we had our Bistro for over 20 people. We served steamed mussels in white wine sauce with grilled French bread, a roasted pear salad with goat cheese walnuts and dried cranberries, Parmesan crusted beef tenderloin with grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto, and a frangipane cake with cherry compote and port.
One of the great things is each guest gets to fill out an anonymous comment card. They rate everything from ambiance to food presentation to quality. You get to see all those results and see all your hard work get paid off. One of our servers got thrown with 3 separate allergies at 3 separate tables but she handled it so well and a lot of our comments involved giving her praise for her professionalism. It’s great to be able to see what you did well on and what you can work on because after all,it is a learning experience!
I admit, I was really nervous for this class going into it. I had been to 2 of my friend’s Bistros beforehand and did not know how well I would be able to do it but I would definitely do it again! It’s a rewarding and fun experience that you actually get a lot of hands on learning from. Except next time I’d rather have it happen when I was not losing my voice!