Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Killing Myself By The Numbers

Losing my mind in a sea of numbers.

Sometime today I started to lose it. Calculating the various details and expenses of each menu item was starting to get to me. All around me a cacophony of activity carried on. Prepping, cooking, washing, cleaning, the clomp clomp clomp of people going up and down the stairs, the acrid aroma of roasting garlic, footsteps above my head signaling the continuous stream of guests coming and going, the high-pitched squeal of the espresso grinders, the dull clunk of portafilters hitting the knockbox and I'm sitting there trying to figure out just how much that teaspoon of piquin pepper adds to the cost of the terrine.

Somewhere out there sits a smug, crisply pressed white jacketed chef with a binder filled with perfectly calculated menu item costs. Each item is perfectly accounted for, by ingredient, to the gram, to arrive at a precise and logical menu price. Someday, I would like to meet this person and slap him with my HAACP binder (presuming that I someday actually finish writing it).

It's been a busy week. Tomorrow, after two years of thinking about it, we're launching a food menu at Spro Hampden. Nothing too fancy or out of control, just some nice and solid items composed of fresh, local and healthy ingredients. Since Cynthia decided to close Soup's On across the street, Lauren has decided to come join us and bring forth our vision of food for the people.

Longtime readers of this blog might be expecting a menu heavily laden with fattening meats and cheeses and gobs of Mexican dishes. This outing is a bit more delicate than that. Light and fresh items that are thoughtfully sourced without being too precious or pretentious.

It's been a hectic day of calculating costs, sampling menu items and rushing to get everything done and prepped before the 7pm menu tasting with the entire Spro Hampden staff. Add a big bottle of Belgian ale, an assortment of chicken salad sandwiches and the entire menu and it makes for a nice evening before tomorrow's storm.

Menu starts tomorrow at 11am.