So one of the academic classes that we have to take here at the CIA is called Menu Development. It was probably my favorite class. We had to come up with a restaurant; theme, location, menu, schedule, the whole bamboozle. Chris and I chose to work alone because we are already with each other all the time and we figured it might be easier to work on the project at any point instead of assigning specific times to work on it. It was a blast. The whole project spanned over the entire three weeks. The first part was to create a business plan which would act as a business model to prospective investors. Within this we came up with a layout of the restaurant, an actual location of the restaurant, and we had to research the demographics of the area that we chose. We also researched the surrounding attractions, analyzed the competitors in our area, came up with the uniform for our employees, and made a schedule for them. The second section of the assignment was to consider the cost involved with the restaurant. We had to add up the cost of the space, the equipment, the staff, and the food. This part was actually pretty humorous. At this point I should mention that in our restaurant Chris would be the Executive Chef and I would be the General Manager, aka the "boss lady". During, this slice of the pie, Chris came up with the list of equipment HE needed in HIS kitchen. Well. I will have you know that there was a lot of questioning that took place. "So we really need a Pacojet?" "Anti-griddle? What the heck does that do Chris?" "There is no way we need a centrifuge" ...and the like. It was funny as Chris gave me the puppy dog eyes and surrendered his precious un-needed tools. I assured him that once we got up and running we would find money to spend on those things but for now I needed to reign him in. The fact of the matter is, we really threw ourselves into this proposal as if we were actually starting our real restaurant.
At this point I have a side story which encompasses the name of our establishment. Chris and I both completed out externship at a country club in North Carolina called Roaring Gap. We did not plan on going to the same site, but due to circumstances out of our control, we were lucky enough to spend the entire summer together. We usually worked different shifts or were cooking in different locations, but there was one rotation where we were both working the line at the Lake Grill. Now people were aware of our relationship, but I will say that Chris and I work very well together. I have mentioned previously that we are able to communicate non-verbally and that comes to our advantage in the work place. I can hand something to him, and he'll know what to do with it. Or I can say just two words to him, and he will know exactly what I mean. Our minds race at the same speed and often meet each other in the chase. I have never before had this non-verbal communication with anyone else I have worked with before, but I would say that if I was going to hire two people, it would be a great benefit if they had that. Our superior however, didn't seem to think so. He worked on the line as well, and he one day told us that he could not stand our "bantering" any longer and that we were not allowed to speak at all to each other. This was a challenge, because during this specific time, the amount of members at the club was scarce and business was rather slow. After much consideration, Chris and I thought that the name of our place should be Banter.
The final responsibility of this Menu's homework was to actually create a menu. We spent countless hours trying to formulate our ideas into the menu. See the concept of our restaurant is unlike anything I have ever seen before. We want the customer to create their own meal. We have come up with a few main ingredients and several sub ingredients that the guest can put together. I guess I like to relate it to a choose your own adventure book. Because any guest can create a meal that they want, and the Chef's will create a unique experience for each guest. The waitstaff would have to be high interactive because they would have to help the customers to understand the menu and come up with what they really want. It'll be a few years before we are able to execute our idea, but it was really fun to go through the whole process and be able to dream.