NEW YORK, NY :: OBSERVING THE JBF MAITRE D // james beard foundation, todd mittgang, crave nyc, jbf events intern

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I’ve spent over 100 hours volunteering in the James Beard Foundation kitchen.

Since October, I’ve worked alongside chefs from all over the nation; picking up their tips, tricks and techniques… however, I never get to see what happens once the plated plates leave the counter.

So tonight, as a JBF Events Intern, I requested to observe the Maitre D and the entire JBF Staff to see all of the planning come to life.

  • 4:00pm: Meeting with the Event Planner
  • 4:30pm: Meeting with the JBF Staff
  • 5:00pm: Event Set Up
  • 6:15pm: Meeting with the Chef

  • 6:50pm: Prepare for Guest Arrival
  • 7:00pm: Reception Hour with Pass Hors D’oeurves

  • 7:45pm: Prepare Guests for Sit Down Meal
  • 8:00pm: Dinner Begins

OVERALL: Wonderful experience. JBF seated 71 guests and had a great service from 7:00-10:30pm.

I stood on the balcony when dinner started so I could see how the waiters navigated around the first table; and I noticed that JBF follows a French service, so that means all of the ladies at the table get their plates first.

And don’t laugh at me, but I totally had flashbacks of Judy Garland in Harvey Girls singing, “serve to the left, take off to the right!” … yes, that was my childhood…

So after the first two courses, everything started to make sense.

  • I saw the waiters cover their tables and accommodate guest requests
  • I saw the dishwashers man their stations
  • I saw the Chef watching the clock to execute his dishes
  • I saw the Service Captain address any food allergies personally
  • I saw the Maitre D orchestrate the dishes coming out of the kitchen
  • and then I saw the smiles and excitement from the guests #joblove

From the Event Planner to the Chef, to the Matire D to everyone on the JBF staff… it was an amazing effort done by all. Great food, great company, great service.

Big thanks to the entire team for showing me the ropes!


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