The Great Hall
City chef rural areas The Great Hall: City chef rural areas
By Dustman (Dustman) on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 02:59 pm: Edit

I moved from the Orlando area three years ago to the Western North Carolina area and quickly discovered that different rules as well as different pricing (what we have come to call the elevation tax)apply to the restaurants and inns in my region. Things that were alright in the city don't apply,Example: instead of higher prices for split cases they (the purveyors)won't split them at all, broad sweeping higher prices across the board for everything especially protiens, and the lack of items all together. I would understand this if it were due to different warehouses, but, the trucks still come from Atlanta, Charlotte, etc...I have given up with searching for logic.Salesmans response, "its in the computer but I can't seem to get it on your order." I have already become accostumed to these little annoyances. Just looking for chefs in similar situations with wierd stories of life and business in the country.Any one wanting to know where I am can visit our site - It is my first year at the inn so the menus are not mine. I hope to provide a little more than the chefs have in the past, like any other chef. Who puts what kind of rolls on the menu anyway?
Looking for peers, Dustin Rivers

By Chris on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 11:49 am: Edit

Too many to list!!!

By W.DeBord on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 07:10 am: Edit

How impossible would it be to make your own pick-ups weekly in town for those problem items?

It stinks, but we use to pick-up our own stuff when I was catering (until we made enough money to afford deliveries). It's kind of an exchange frustrations, but at least you know what you have instead of what they forgot.

Hey, Charlie Trotter (and all the T.V. chefs) brag about how they go to the market daily!

....I can't understand a chef that will drive past a farm stand on his way to work to serve underripe, tasteless tomatos in a "Tomato Salad" and not stop at the darn stand on the way!

Seriously, I would like to know more about these problems (I'm considering working in a similar enviroment). What else goes wrong?

By chris on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 09:03 am: Edit

Charlie Trotter and all the t.v. chefs can afford to go to the market dailly because they don't operate on a budget and they have hundreds of hungry culinary students slaving away for nothing in their kitchens. Must be nice.

By peachcreek on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 11:49 am: Edit

Stories like when I was getting ready to open this little cafe and having to clean out the walk-in from being used as the caretakers' bedroom?

By Dustman (Dustman) on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 08:43 am: Edit

I hope that he was a tidy care taker at least. Yeah, stories like that and day to day stuff too.
My inn is one hour each way from a decent, and for around here that doesn't say much, store. I am afraid to say that the employment pool around here doesn't seem to exist so as for shopping like that any way is probably not a possibility until I get some qualified, trainable help. W. DeBord I think that you are romanticizing the conditions a bit, but I can tell you once you get accostumed to a small environment it grows on you.
At first I was dying to be in a real city, where I was wasn't even a town. But after a while began to enjoy it as a different challenge. I have never had to clean a walkin after a caretaker, but I did have to chase a black bear from my garbageone night, It wasn't that close really, but it was going that direction and that makes for a HUGE mess!

By Chris on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 09:04 am: Edit

I keep a shotgun in my office and a box of riot rounds(rubber pellets) just for that purpose dustman. Not a week goes by that I don't have to use it. There are so many little things that go on in this environment that city chefs would never have put up with. On the other hand city chefs go through a lot of hell that I haven't seen since I lived in Aspen. The small town syndrome does grow on you and I wouldn't give it up for anything.

By Dustman (Dustman) on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 12:47 pm: Edit

I am confident that my current employers would frown upon a shotgun for kitchen use although that would work quite well I imagine. Hey Chris, where are you at now still Colorado or where? Do own/operate a restaurant or inn, what type of establishment? I definitely wouldn't change my environment for anything either, except the where I just love the mountain lifestyle to much to go back to the city.

By Chris on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 02:05 pm: Edit

I'm on a guestranch in CO. The hardest part of the job is that we do not say no to any guest requests. The second hardest part of the job is trying to decide wheather to flyfish or ride a horse on my afternoon breaks. It is quite a beautiful place to work!! All the horror stories of my past jobs have finally paid off!!

By dustman on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 07:41 pm: Edit

We have a can do policy also, but thank god on our confirmation forms we get all the dietary restriction info etc.. Worse case cenario someone has to drive an hour to the store and shop and an hour back. Do you have black bears or grizzlies?
Last week we had a biologist visit and he brought hybrid wolves to the inn and led them around, they were used to humans but not domesticated per se. I don't have the luxury of fly fishing, or horseback riding but 500,000 acres of the smokies is my back yard. Gotta love it, Dustman

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:38 am: Edit

Hybrid Wolf Sausage sounds great. Have you guys thought about a small storage container for you upscale dry goods. Buy in bulk, dry age the beef,
take flying lessons,challenge you guests to bring any type of foods for you to create with.Most of all an herb garden and a vegetable garden. If you worried about animals grow them hydo in a green house.
Anyway, please send info you your places, I would love to get away to what your describing. I would also start some sort of lifeline among'st chefs like yourself. You obviously have internet access. I would ship you stuff that you can't get, possibly for a little perk when I visit.
I love the fact that you all like what your doing.

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:54 am: Edit

Your making things sound better not worse! I'm one hour EACH way to work (swear to god, not a second of exageration...even have someone at this site that can varify that), the construction site my spouse is running this summer is in the city (1 & 1/2 hours EACH way, due to traffic). Let's see, 2 extra hours of time everyday to do what.....hum, I'd go horse back riding for sure! Oh wait that adds up to an extra days worth of time off, it would give me 12 more hours a week of personal time.

Hey I was reading the part where you both admitted how you love it!

Granted the "city" animals aren't as scarie as a bear, they still make a big mess.

O.K. where's the bad part?

By Chris on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 10:20 am: Edit

The bad parts: not enough $$, don't know where my kids are going to get good schooling, no theatre, museums, One movie theatre for 80 miles around. 8 mos of winter, 1 mos mudseason(just like it sounds) 2 1/2 mos of summer,(but it's heaven),not enough golf time, TEXANS!! But I'd take a black bear over a city animal any day, they can't sue you when you shoot em'

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:14 pm: Edit

Hey Chris,
I did not know you had GOLF!!! I'm going to call and get a tee time right now. I'll fly out of Dallas as soon as I can.
Hey Dustin,
Your place looks GREAT!! website. Is it really as nice as the pictures? Is there off season prices?
You guys need to enjoy this as long as you can.Homeschool.Start a .com business to suppliment income.

By peachcreek on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 05:39 pm: Edit

How about when yhe entire produce order arrives FROZEN in the back of the delivery truck and the closest head of lettuce is 18 miles away! And the closest lettuce that you would WANT to buy is 75 miles away! Lived there. Done that. Or how about them fozen pipes! Or how about when it gets so cold that the propane won't flow.....

By Chris on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 09:54 pm: Edit

Propane problem happened last week luckily there were no guests to feed just staff. My old Job was at the top of a mountain, my feeling is that's where W had a bad meal last week, and entire orders came in frozen on a weekly basis. Panini hold off on the tee-time unless you can play in snowshoes, still 3-4 feet on the courses. Not all Texans are bad my in-laws are in S.A.

By Dustman (Dustman) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 09:58 pm: Edit

I suppose I get some perks, I have a gardener, the trade off is the local com. college has an instructor that can't even give me a decent overview the program and sends me students that hold a knife like their freekin scared of it. Chris, it really is a cool and unique little inn and we have a 72% return rate with our guests some have been coming for 20 years. Unfortunately the "off" season renders our 21/2 mile 1000ft incline gravel driveway impossible even for four wheel drive.
I know all about the frozen pipe thing , I replaced every foot of pipe under my house. The wonderfully intelligent previous residents turned the water on after it had been winterized and neglected to tell anyone. They also left a poopsicle in the toilet for me and my wife to cherish. And how about this for service- I wait three weeks for a plumber to come out and then when he gets here he tells me he will return tomorrow,two weeks later he calls me ( I was doing other repairs to the house and we were waiting to move in) and tells me that he thought about it, and decided that it would be a nightmare( I only have 1 1/2 crawlspace) and maybe I should find someone else to do it. Couldn't he have told me that the day he was here?
Country humor: the other day I had a flat from a nail, The guy I was interviewing asked if I own a black Dakota, I say yes, he says well ... looks to me like you got a flat. I say really thats great. he says, you could probably roll it over but I'm sure the other sides flat to. I wasn't timing him but he probably got a good two minutes of laughing in before he could stop. Anyway I bought four new tires this weekend. Dustin

By Dustman (Dustman) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Just got back from your page panini, beautiful cakes.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 09:53 am: Edit

Dustman, idiots aren't indigenous to the mountains....we have plenty in the city too!

Chris the bad food was their cooking (with-out doubt!), gelatinized chile water and soup.

How often do you experience road rage? City dwellers only visit musuems and zoo's when their out of town relatives visit. Ever experience mall shopping at x-mas time? Suburbanites rarely drive into the big cities on their off time.... AHHHH the grass is always greener.......

By Dustman (Dustman) on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 09:46 pm: Edit

I know that idiots aren't just in the mountains, but the ratio is in their favor it seems. I give myself plenty of time and some good tunes for the road, I never get "road rage" unless someone comes close to killing me. My wife and I love to hike and camp out, or just hang out in the woods, for the most part its free and fun. Finally when it rains it pours ,now I am getting some qualified help wanting to work. four suitable candidates today!!! And of course I had already decided not to hire anyone out of nessecity and brave our largest event of the year with all my time and effort and A few prep/ dishwashers. Go figure that it would come together when I came to terms with that. I actually had a caterer (who was looking for a job) tell me that she would do me the "favor" of helping me out for 300 a night
(plus expenses) I suspect she was on crack if she thought I would consider that. But anyway I wish her luck with her extremely busy schedule and six figure salary. Enough for today though. Dustin

By Chefrick (Chefrick) on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 07:49 pm: Edit

I have been away from the site for awhile, missed all. I can relate to the low pay,I took a job with a college three years ago and still look forword to everyday, lots of challenge! like cooking for 1000 pp and the gm forgot to schedule staff, I grabbed the secretary and finished in less than four hours(thank god it was an easy menu)but I never figured I would get rich in this biz , but I eat well and love live and make lots of people happy...what else could a guy want?

By Peachcreek on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 09:23 pm: Edit

Heres' a good story. I ran a cafe in the mountains of Idaho for many years. It gets really busy in the tourist season, and good help(as we all know) is very hard to find. I was in town at the bar one night and overheard some people I recognized from the cafe. They were talking about me. "The food out at Sunbeam is great" I heard Kenny the Photographer say. "But the service is slow. Except if Tom knows you. Then its REALLY slow".

By Dustman (Dustman) on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 - 10:53 pm: Edit

So a lot has happened this season for me and its almost over... thirteen days and we close for the season. I have been working for 18 days straight and three doubles (7-10) a week. I had to let my sous go due to attitude and the fact that on my day off he kept using u12 shrimp at $13.95 a pound for hors d'oeuvres (complimentary)for LARGE groups of people (50-55).All said and done I would rather work straight through than deal with some whiny air force brat who had problems working 45 hours a week when I have been working 60-70 hours since the beginning! I think that next year I will hire a sous chef that will do paperwork under my direction instead of cooking under my direction!

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