Ah, staff meal — where chefs cook for other chefs and their staff, feeding them before they send them off on eight-hour shifts full of cooking and serving food to others. In a new cookbook coming out this week, though, co-authors Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy go into the kitchens at the world’s best restaurants — from Ad Hoc and Arzak to Uchi and WD-50 — and photograph the staff meals served every night there, in their new book, Come In, We’re Closed: An Invitation To Staff Meals At The World’s Best Restaurants.
Of course, there are recipes, and of course, these staff meals are universally better than what most home cooks, or even what most restaurant staffs, make for dinner every night. And according to Carroll, it’s simply because of the nature of the staff meal, and the talent of the chefs at a place like The Fat Duck, that makes these recipes special.
“[Staff meals are] the distillation of the hospitality business; why people went into the business in the first place,” she explained in an interview with The Daily Meal. “[They’re] to feed their soul, feed their spirit.”
The best part about staff meals: no one cares about presentation and they’re made with whatever available (i.e. cheap) ingredients are on hand that night. So even us impoverished writers can make Fergus Henderson’s curried rice with chickpeas, which require things that cost no dollars (though we’ll probably have to save up for real Wagyu beef for Anita Lo’s bibimbap.)
The book comes out on Tuesday, October 2nd, the day where you can eat like a chef king.
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