Chris Bradley's Tips: In the Restaurant
Chef Chris Bradley of Ardeo – Washington, D.C.
Adapted by
November 2006

  • Put your "machine" on the carving station -- the guy who carries your workload during most services. He should be called on to carry the load on Thanksgiving as well, because you're going to sell at least 50% turkey.

  • Keep it home-style. People are out to be impressed, but their Thanksgiving memories usually are light on the truffles and foie gras. If your menu is loaded with haute land mines, people will leave unfulfilled.

  • Bananas, bananas, bananas -- not for the customers, but for the staff.
    Thanksgiving is one giant 8-hour service with a couple of lulls, and your hung-over cooks are going to start cramping up just before the dinner push. Keep them hydrated and use the potassium rich bananas to help avoid muscle cramps.

  • Like any big event -- PLAN AHEAD! The last thing you want is for your supplier to run short on turkeys or pumpkins, leaving you to scramble around to scrounge up enough to squeak by. Save that for some other sucker and talk to your purveyor weeks in advance about pre-ordering all the essentials.

  • Make a menu that your wife and kids are going to enjoy, because the only way they are going to get to see you on this (or any holiday) is if they make a reservation and come and spend some time in your dining room.

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