Come In, We're Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants
by Christine Carroll, Jody Eddy
'Come In, We're Closed' goes behind the scenes to explore what twenty-five famed eateries are feeding their own before they open their doors to the public each night.
A longstanding custom in France as well as Japan, staff meals are gaining popularity as an insider perk for restaurant workers around-the globe. The finest examples are meals made daily by passionate cooks using great (though often leftover) ingredients shared by everyone, free of charge, around one big table. Chefs, dishwashers, cooks, bussers, waiters, sommeliers, hosts, and managers all break bread together before the dinner shift begins.
Chefs and authors Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy have enjoyed their fair share of these communal suppers. They admit that some have been better than others, but both agree that a great "family meal" (as they are often called) is a prerequisite of the highest order and is vital to an establishment's success. Fergus Henderson of St. John told them, "Never try and feed them slops." Because if the food isn't tasty, the employees may skip the calories all together, leaving little fuel in the tank during the evening rush.
In 'Come In, We're Closed', the authors, with the help of top-notch chefs and restaurateurs, elevate the lowly staff meal to new heights. Carroll and Eddy traveled the world to experience these exclusive dinners first-hand at establishments such as Ad Hoc in Yountville, California; Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain; The Fat Duck in London, England; McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina; Uchi in Austin, Texas; Michel et Sebastien Bras in Laguiole, France; and Annisa in New York City. Along the way, they interviewed today's best chefs and collected more than 100 never- before-recorded recipes. From the traditional Grilled Hanger Steak with Bearnaise Sauce served at wd-50 to the exotic Broiled Fish Collars with Gobo and Gingko Nut Rice at Morimoto, these recipes were crafted to satisfy hunger and nourish spirits.
Complete with full-color images from award-winning photographers, intriguing restaurant lore, and a foreword by celebrated chef Ferran Adria, 'Come In, We're Closed' is a seat at the staff table.
About the authors:
Christine Carroll is the founder of the nonprofit CulinaryCorps, the nation's first volunteer service organization for culinary professionals. After leaving a career in science, she became the chef de cuisine at the venerable Fitzbillies in Cambridge, England and later trained to be a culinary educator at the French Culinary Institute. Most recently, she was the director of the Bowery Culinary Center for Whole Foods Market Manhattan. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Jody Eddy is the author of JodyEddy.com and contributes to several print and web publications including Food Arts, Plate Magazine, Culinary Trends, and Kinfolk Magazine. She has cooked in the kitchens of Jean Georges, Tabla, and The Fat Duck, and is an instructor at several culinary schools throughout the U.S. She is the former executive editor of Art Culinaire Magazine and is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. She lives in New Jersey.