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Idea Fair

Chef's Table

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

The Chef’s Table was created as a vehicle to take the Meridian Hills Country Club culinary experience to the next level. The membership has long asked to be able to see the kitchen in action and see where “the magic” happens. Under the direction of Executive Chef Joe Miller, the Chef’s Table was created. The Chef’s Table seats 6 people in the kitchen and is offered on a limited basis depending on other Club Functions and business volume. The Chef’s Table consists of a prix fixe menu, normally 5-7 courses that Chef Joe and his team work with the member ahead of time to customize, although Chef Joe and his staff always leave room for spontaneity the evening of. The member is given the option of a food only experience which is one set price, or an experience which includes wine pairing for an additional price. The evening begins with Chef Joe welcoming the member’s group to the kitchen and introducing his staff. Chef Joe then gives a tour of the entire Culinary/Back-of-House Operation. These areas include the Main Kitchen, Banquet Kitchen, Storage areas, and the Pastry Kitchen. Dinner is then prepared right in front of the “Chef’s Table” by Chef Joe and various members of his staff. This also serves as an opportunity to let the membership and Back of House staff interact, as the opportunity usually does not present itself.

The Chef’s Table has enhanced our Club’s operation immensely. By conducting this event, the membership truly comes to understand exactly what is required to make sure their food comes out to their specifications. The members who have participated now understand how the kitchen functions and what is required of Chef Joe and his staff to keep the kitchen running efficiently and effectively.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

The Chef’s Table was implemented after much discussion and planning. The first obstacle to implementing this program was to find a table to fit in the space. After accomplishing this step, we planned how the evening would go. Ultimately it was decided that a tour of the culinary operation would begin the evening, followed by an introduction at the table followed by dinner. The members cannot say enough nice things about this concept. It is truly a “scurry” to grab a reservation date for this event each month when the reservations dates are announced. To date we have sold out every Chef’s Table. The membership loves interacting with the kitchen staff much in the same manner as they love interacting with the service staff in the front-of-the-house.

About the author

Stephen Casey

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