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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Green eggs and Ham

Dr. Suess was the theme of our girl's takeover of the dining establishment run entirely by students, all in their senior year, in the Restaurant Management class. One half of the class (each section has about 20 students) does back of house, cooking the entire menu, while the other half does front of house, serving and interacting with patrons, and midway through the semester they switch off, so that every student gets both front and back of house experience. And every student also gets to run the whole show for one night, pairing with another student to cover front and back of house, and to come up with special menu items on a theme. Our daughter and her partner, friends since year one, were flawless. "We've been planning this night for three years," they assured us. Their families got the best seats in the house, a window with a view and the fireplace right next to us, and from there we watched with awe as our daughters ran the show.


I could go on and on, but I think I'll just put up a photo album from the night, and let that tell the story. I'll just say that the young restauranteurs were radiant and their pop up was a smashing success, hitting the prescribed maximum of 60 covers, with no mishaps but for a vegan order that had to be redone because one of the chefs sprinkled bacon bits, and there was also a small panic as they tried to figure out whether the pasta had been made with eggs (it hadn't). None of this was visible from where we sat, practically levitating with happiness as our girl in her chef whites and cat-in-the-hat inspired chef's hat, brought out our order herself, and hugged us laughing. Her fellow students who were the wait staff made sure we got the best service; the class is clearly a collegial crew and parents are the most special of patrons on management nights. I cannot even describe the wonder of seeing our child so capable in the world, and not even nervous. She was having fun! It was extra special for my husband because yesterday was his birthday. He said dining at his daughter's "place" was one of the best birthday memories ever.


While our girl managed kitchen operations, the front of house was run by Lauren, our daughter's suite mate from freshman year. They started planning this night back then.


Truly, I thought I would burst, I was so proud. And our girl didn't seem in the least bit overmatched or self-conscious. She has gifts, that one.


One of the specials of the night was this delicious pesto pizza with mozzarella and mushrooms, prosciutto and a cracked egg. It had a little heap of arugula on top of it too, but I gave that to my husband.


Our girl's bf brought her flowers in a green theme with a burst of yellow to represent the egg idea. He definitely racked up some brownie points. His lovely mother and sister and aunt drove three hours to be there to support our girl on what they called her "culinary debut."


Her housemates, Gillian and Rae, were also there. Gillian is the vegan whose order caused a minor flurry in the kitchen. She's charming and funny and was good natured about the wait.


Sam and Henri dined with us. So many of our daughter's friends, including the crew she did the writing program with in Rome last summer, showed up to support her restaurant management night. They knew what a big deal this was.


The tomato soup with basil and cheddar toast was delicious I heard. So were the truffle fries with truffle oil, parmesan, parsley and a garlic aioli. (Our girl texted us from the kitchen to tell us to be sure to order the truffle fries.)


Every dish we ordered, she brought to our table herself. We felt so special and were unabashedly star struck.


I ordered the specials created by our daughters of course, but if I hadn't, I'd have ordered this seafood gumbo, which I have it on good authority, was divine.


Every so often I looked up and glimpsed our little girl, all dressed up in a chef uniform and pretending to be grown.


I had the mascarpone cheesecake for dessert. The student managers weren't allowed to create a themed dessert special, as it would leave the other dessert offerings undersubscribed. This was a new policy this year, and it was the only bummer for our girl, who has been devising dessert specials for years.


The restaurant management team was very happy with how the evening went. And when it was all done they gave us a tour of the kitchen, which happened to be the same kitchen my daughter walked into while touring the school as a high school senior, deciding on the spot that this was where she wanted to attend college. How life turns. How beautiful it can be.


16 comments:

  1. I love it all. Her hat, her smile, egg on pizza (delicious), the bacon on the vegan order (of course something like that would happen! and they roll on). Good stuff :)

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  2. I'm so glad it was such a grand success! My mouth literally watered as I read the descriptions and saw the pictures of your dinner. Congratulations to all.

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  3. This is all so beautiful and perfect. I can't remember who taught me how to crack an egg on my pizzas but I've been doing it forever and I was delighted to see it here. Lovely lovely and most lovely. Well done to all of you.

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  4. Just magnificent! All of it! She does have gifts, that one. And oh, how she is loved!

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  5. This. Sometimes we look at our kids and feel so proud, that we did something right. Our babies break away from us the moment they are born and it is so bittersweet. But this. This is all the effort, all the heartbreaks and triumphs coming together. Your daughter has no doubt worked indescribably hard but this is a time where both of you as parents can give yourself a pat on the back. Well done, to all of you!

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  6. You know, sometimes I feel our kids' successes are more thrilling than our own! This sounds perfect, and lovely. Congratulations to your daughter and her classmate on having such a successful night.

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  7. How lovely for all of you and all of the students. Congratulations and well done!

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  8. Congratulations to her and you and your husband! This evening looked spectacular and so much fun! Your daughter just radiates light and love. It is so cool that kids get such amazing opportunities and your daughter surely is reaching for the stars. I love your kids!

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  9. Brava! I love everything about this. Your daughter is the cat's meow. But we've known that for years, haven't we?

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  10. What a wonderful night, and how well your clever, gorgeous girl and her team did. I still don't know what " green eggs" are though! I shall have to look it up.

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  11. PS…Now I know! Not something we are familiar with in UK. ( I didn't know the Dr. Seuss book either)

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  12. Congratulations to her and to her friend on this project! The food looks amazing, very professional, and the view is nice too. And yes, to be served by your own beautiful, capable child in such an environment must have made you incredibly proud.

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  13. SO much awesomeness! Not to mention the classiest spin on Dr. Seuss I've ever seen. Shame about the desserts, maybe she can do some for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Glad you had a great time, looks wonderful :)

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  14. I'm so behind but love this. Every single word. I've loved watching you girl grow up on this blog. I love that you show us her face and that she lets you. This is magnificent. Miss you, friend.

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