Inside Staff Meal at Coppa

by Katherine Sacks
November 2011


Sous Chef J.T. DeBrie of Coppa – Boston, MA

Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa – Boston, MA

Staff Meal Details

Sous Chef J.T. DeBrie weighs in.

Staff meal food costs:
We don’t really worry about it to be honest. We have such a small staff that even if we spent a lot of money on family meal, it wouldn’t be that much.

Size of staff meal:
8 to 10 people

Time of staff meal:
We usually do a lunch around 3pm and then dinner around 10.

Worst staff meal:
In a San Francisco restaurant, they used veal breast to make stock twice, then pulled the flavorless meat for tacos. It was awful.

Favorite staff meal ever:
At Coppa, we once made a Hawaiian rice, eggs, and gravy dish called Loco Moco, with braised pork shoulder.

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Hot wings and pizza may be the stuff of Sunday afternoon football games (or late-night grub sessions), but for the crew at Jamie Bissonnette's Coppa in Boston, it’s what’s up for grabs at a rousing family meal, not once, but often twice a week. Sous Chef J.T. DeBrie may find a menu use for every part of the chickens he brings into the rustic Italian restaurant, but the wings he saves for the staff. “We could use them on the menu,” says the young chef, who has worked at the popular South End Italian restaurant for the last two years, “but we like them too much.”

Tossed in a house-made smoked paprika sauce, these wings are the just the energy pill needed to get his front-of-the-house team through their last push of the evening. Coppa’s late-night meal crowds the staff into the restaurant’s tiny kitchen, and the oven-charred pizza, topped with sweet barbecue pork (leftovers from a nightly special), keeps them there. Offerings of leftover cavatelli pasta or creamy tiramisu, straight off Coppa’s menu, don’t hurt either.