Staff Holiday Luncheon Recap

I’ve purposely postponed posting about this topic because I have so much to talk about. This luncheon had taken me weeks to fine tune the menu, perfect the recipes and then the actual prep and decoration.

I’ve been the fun representative at my job for the past three years, the secondary task pretty much meant that I had to bring a work & fun balance. This was definitely a position I enjoyed filling because I had influence on what and where we had our activities that helped us walk away from work, disconnect and relax.

Before the holidays kicked off I was to plan our get together before everyone left to do their own thing. This being my last year there I didn’t want to just go to a restaurant like previous years, I wanted to organize something that would impress everyone and leave my mark as the fun rep so I decided to take it upon myself to host it at our place of work where we could be comfortable and I could mold the whole thing to my liking.

That being said I began to brainstorm the perfect menu that everyone could enjoy and could expand their palate upon. Picking a set menu that would please ten of my peers was more stressful then I anticipated seeing as I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or serve something that they couldn’t eat but wanted to keep the menu a surprise.

Weeks of over think went by and I had a menu set in stone and began to try my new recipes out and get people opinion to fine tune them before the grand day. I went as far as far as making twelve hour bone broth to make sure I couldn’t optimize a dish, but the beef broth didn’t end up being what I was going for. A week prior to the luncheon I was confident with my recipes and was ready to tackle on the venue.

The space that was made available to me has a lot of character and wanted to make sure that it was dressed up to it’s finest for the occasion so I called out my sisters for help on the decor and they ended up helping me out a lot more then expected setting things up and preparing in the kitchen.

On the day of the luncheon the whole staff had gathered having no clue what to expect but knowing that I had put plenty of hours and effort on making it right. I waited until they were all at the door before I opened the sliding doors, the look of surprise was exactly what I was looking for.

They all walked through the decorate hall and made their way to the bar where I welcomed them and introduced them to my sister that would be helping me throughout the service. Toasts were made, cocktails were had and everyone was relaxed and ready to move to the table.

 

As soon as they were all seated we began to serve the wine, water and then first course of Montréal style lox pizza, a recipe that I will continue to use seeing as it is a crowd pleaser after its few trials.

 

As everyone finished first course we started to prepare for what came next. We took out the bowls, dropped the bocconcini in, ladled some of the tomato basil soup, topped it and it went out. The bocconcini floating in the soup makes for a great surprise when they make their way to your mouth.

The next step required patience and wine, the main course required to be made from scratch because I find you can tell if it’s not the case. The truffle risotto I had put a twist on was 90% ready when the beautiful scallops were taken out of the sous-vide and dried waiting to be seared. When that dish went out and hit the table I knew by the look of their faces that they were waiting for the last person to get their plate to dig in.

The meal having been so cheesy and full of flavor I needed to cleanse their palates before we could move onto the desert. Next came out these emptied lemons filled with Italian lime ice with a hint of vodka. A much needed refreshing in my opinion or else they wouldn’t have been fully able to enjoy the New York style cheesecake that was headed to the table after.

This cheesecake went through some trial and error to get the right crust and maple whiskey taste I was looking for. It sat on a bed of maple whiskey cream with a dollop of whipped cream on top, a few blackberries on the side to liven things up if it got too rich and a maple whiskey coffee to slip some more alcohol onto the menu.

At the very end I got to finally join the party and get everyone wonderful feedback. I was given a token of appreciation for my work I’d done over the years in regards to cohesion and morale. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for that luncheon, if everyone was as pleased as they said, I was fully satisfied.

We then went back to the bar where some of us spent the rest of our evening. I ended up leaving close to midnight after having started that day around six, It was my first experience doing this grand of a service and look forward to my next one.

I owe plenty of thanks to my sisters that helped me a lot, Alex a good friend that took these great pictures and got his hands dirty to help plate a few things and Sabrina my girlfriend that had to be put through the whole thing and still come out to help cleanup.

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