Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our trip to Kittery, Maine; purses, a private beach and Lobstah!!

As you may already know, I moved back to my home town of Manchester, NH to be close to loved ones and, being the day-trip-nuts that we are, we decided to run up to Maine the other day. We went to Kittery, specifically, for the shops that town is known for. Of course, being near the coast, we couldn't go up there and NOT see the ocean!

After a jaunt through a couple purse shops, a sweet knife shop and the best candy shop we've ever seen, I was on the hunt for a proper lobster roll.

Winding through the back roads of a small town out-side of Kittery, we stumbled across this lobster shack called Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier that was PACKED full of patrons. It was one of those "BYOB" places that you only find in this sort of setting.

A little expensive but well worth it.

A quick stop into the historic Fort McClary was a huge hit!

We found a private beach that belonged to a neighborhood. Yeah, the "No Tresspassing" sign was really small :) Amazing views!


Private "Day School" management; never a dull moment

As many of you may already know, I've been involved in the food service industry for quite some time now. For almost 30 years, I've been doing everything from scrubbing pots to food purchasing to turning around bad kitchens to educating people how to cook and make good decisions when eating. I guess I've done almost everything! Most of my career revolves around challenges. I've always accepted challenges head-on with above-average results. I have a lot of people to thank along the way and give back when I can.
My latest venture is a private "Day School" on the North Shore of the east coast of Massachusetts. I run a small kitchen with a staff of 5 dedicated culinarians where we pull off some pretty amazing miracles. When I say "small kitchen" I'm referring to about 600 square feet of cooking space to create about 150 breakfasts and 400 lunches 5 days a week. Not only do we pull that off, but there are dozens of catering and banquets thrown in there on a weekly basis as well as the countless concerns for food safety and allergy awareness. Throw in ordering, dealing with vendors, financial stuff, paperwork, constant training, menu development, inventory, complaints and unforeseen circumstances and you have yourself quite a juggling act on your hand.
Yes, I know some of you out there are rolling your eyes right now saying stuff like, "We do that many meals on a good Friday night!" Well, you guys and gals are setup for that sort of thing. We are working out of pretty much a walk-in closet with minimal equipment. Tiny kitchen and a small staff to boot. But, Im not complaining! I have an amazing staff, very qualified and most of them are foodies, like me! We pull it off and everyone loves it (well, you can't please everyone, lol).
I absolutely love my job and my career path. Working at this amazing school with amazing faculty, staff and, of course, the students, I always look forward to making the hour trek to work and back each day (glad I have a comfy car, lol).
There is never a dull moment for us, not ever. I'll keep you posted with new and exciting things soon.
This is my view most mornings...
New drink station went in, custom logos :)
Fresh, local and delicious!

Hoop house went in, now to fill it with produce!?

Each day we integrate a new and interesting item on the menu. Pushing the "Try Something New" campaign gives everyone a chance to try unusual foods and expand their palates!

Helping other chefs in the district is always a blast! Networking, mentoring and pulling off the impossible is just a great day for me!

Bamboo signage, beautiful and sustainable!

That's my ugly mug ;)

Custom bev-naps please! Nice touch.

The catering board stays full of amazing events.


North East Family Farms Beef, carved to order.

Senior Dinner!