VOLUNTEER CHEF KEY INFORMATION
Who: We are looking to engage trained chefs with commercial cooking experience who are confident planning and executing a 3 course menu. Each team needs to bring between 3 and 8 to assist with food prep and service, ideally at least 3 of these people are chefs. We will provide volunteers up to a total number of 8 to work with you to prepare and serve your meal.
When: Monday’s. Cooks/chefs come for prep and service from midday - 9pm. If some of your team are only available for part of the day/night, please let us know so we can provide volunteers to cover.
Where: Gemmayze St Restaurant in St Kevin’s Arcade, 183 Karangahape Rd, Auckland City. Parking can be difficult, but we have found parking on the yellow lines on Poynton Tce is fine, we have never been towed.
What to bring/wear: Yourself, an apron, comfortable closed toe shoes and your knife/knives.
Please read before you come
Guests can arrive for dinner anytime from 5.30 pm, service is officially 6-8pm. We are typically full by 6pm. This means your food needs to be ready for service at 5.30 pm so we can brief everyone for service and demonstrate how each dish is plated. This is crucial for a successful service.
The space seats 95pax and we expect to serve around 300 pax per week. This is usually three full seatings with a few additional late arrivals.
Chefs need to arrive at midday, and will be shown the food, then asked to come up with a menu. You may need us to purchase a few things, which we will get for you and aim to have back by 2pm. This means we need a shopping list from you by 1pm. We are happy to shop for any essential ingredients you’re missing, but encourage you to keep this to a minimum eg. So far we have been purchasing about 50c per head of food. This has typically been dairy, baking ingredients and fresh herbs,
We have access to Gemmayze Street’s pantry, so use their spices, canola oil etc. If you would like to use items of theirs that are expensive i,e vanilla, nuts etc, please ask first so we can ok it, and replace as necessary. We also have a lot of things in our own dry store.
We serve 3 courses of restaurant quality food to Everybody:
We are not trying to make simple food for people without taste, there are lots of places that our customers can go for this food. We have a lot of paying customers that return on the basis that our food is thoughtfully planned, well presented, generous and delicious. We are aiming for hearty, nourishing, accessible food that everyone will enjoy. Obscure flavours and heavy spices tend to be unpopular, and rather familiar, rich, comforting food is always a hit. The food we prepare falls between decent pub and gastro pub food.
3 course menu
We will provide you with a template to help you plan your menu. By 5.30pm we need to know if each dish has dairy, gluten or nuts and if we can adapt them to suit these dietaries.
Entrée - soup with bread. This is always vegetarian. E.g cream of pumpkin, leek & potato. We serve around a 300ml portion so we need around 90L of soup, which is our 100L pot almost full. It’s a good idea to prep and cook the soup early so there’s time to allow it to cook properly and develop lots of flavour. Soup will take at least 20 minutes to blend with our robot coupe before service. The soup should be bursting with flavour - this means sweating your onions properly, extracting flavour from vegetables and seasoning well.
Main – this always involves meat, very often chicken breast/thigh or beef mince. E.g meatballs, lamb tagine or chicken curry. We often serve this with a carbohydrate (rice/pasta/potato) and have a side salad, or some vegetables on the same plate. We always need to provide a vegetarian option as well. Our manager will let you know how many people we are aiming to feed and the split of meat and vegetarian. i.e 300 pax, 250 meat and 50 vegetarian mains.
Dessert – very often involves rescued apples or bananas, but can also be cake, bread and butter pudding, crumble etc. Dairy is generally always available alongside this, often yoghurt. We usually have fresh as freeze dried fruit available to use for garnish.
How much food do I make? - We will work with you to get quantities right. We have done this plenty of times, so have seen it all, from having twice as much food as necessary to running out certain things halfway through service. It is imperative that you take the time to plan your menu properly, rather than rushing in and starting to cook because you think you are short on time.
Be mathematical - it is often easy for chefs to eyeball things and cook by feel, especially with flavour. But it’s much harder with volume. Make sure quantities are enough for the numbers we are doing. i.e if serving your dessert with dairy on the side, divide the total volume you are planning by 300. i.e 15kgs of yoghurt will be 50ml per person (that is about right). If you are doing potatoes, how many gastro pans do you have? How many serves will you get from each?
Salt - we generally find food is under seasoned, because salt for 300 seems like a lot. Please taste and season your food as you go to ensure it is properly seasoned.
Before service, please get all food into suitable gastros/pots etc for service. All dirty equipment/gastros need to be washed before service, as our dishwashers have a huge a amount to get through recycling plates and cutlery throughout service,
We normally provide volunteers to help with prep (peeling/chopping etc) throughout the day (depending on what’s needed) and one or two experienced cooks.
We need to plate food quickly as we are pushing out around 800 plates in the first hour. This means dishes without too many elements are essential. You will likely be working with volunteers who are not trained chefs so it is important that someone takes the lead and gives clear instructions.
Before service starts, we ask that you show all kitchen staff how each dish will be plated - the mechanics of getting that food onto the plate and what it should look like. This helps keep things consistent and means we are better able to present restaurant quality plates.
It is entirely possible that more complex dishes can be prepared but chefs will need to have a good understanding of how the food will be plated and how many people will be needed to serve each course.
We need all sections to be able to serve food at the same time, so it pays to assign people to each course, but typically, what happens is that we start 3-5 people plating soup in a line (using a jug rather than a ladle), each person touching the plate once (soup, garnish, pass) then it moves to mains, and onto desserts. However by 6.30pm all sections will be going so you will need roughly - 2 on soup, 4 on mains and 2 on dessert.
We require everyone to sit and enjoy at least one course with us. After that, people are able to take part of their meal away, so we have takeaway containers available.
We have an experienced volunteer running the pass, they will translate all the FOH needs into clear language for you. They will also let you know when to start/stop plating each course.
At least one person in the kitchen needs to know what is in each dish prepared. If you are the leader of the group coming this should be you. There are 10 common food allergens you must know about: sulphites, cereals containing gluten, shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soybeans, sesame seeds and tree nuts. During service you may be notified of a customer with a certain allergy. You will need to be able to correctly identify the dishes they can and can’t eat. We have very few guests with allergies, but this is necessary for our Food Control Plan.
Service & Presentation
Almost all the food we use is rescued. i.e diverted before it goes to landfill/anaerobic digestion etc. It is generally in very good condition, similar to what you would have if you bought groceries from a supermarket and stored them at home for 4 or 5 days. Sometime things are ruined and need to be composted, other times bad bits can be removed. One of the main aims of Everybody Eats is to help solve the environmental problems associated with throwing away food. We do not want to be part of this problem so ask all chefs to attempt to use as much of the produce as possible.
Gemmayze St is wonderfully generous with allowing us to use their space. We respect this by giving the kitchen a proper clean down at the end of the night. Many hands make light work as they say and if chefs help by running down the cleaning checklist at the end of the night it can save us a lot of time when closing up. Please allow for an extra 30 minutes after service to get everything back to how we found it. We ask that you leave the kitchen the same way you would like to find your own if another group was in there for the day.
CLEANING / CLOSE DOWN
The kitchen is a full commercial kitchen with most of the gear you would expect including:
Turbofan oven - this is a little bit small for the numbers we do, so you will need to plan accordingly, and ensure you have enough time to cook everything if you are using the oven a lot.
Target top stove
Four burner gas stove
Static oven under target top - this is not particularly powerful and is generally only used for reheating and keeping food hot.
5L deep fryer (nothing larger sorry)
Vac Pac machine
Sous vide machine
1x 50l pot
1x 30l pot
2x 100L pot
2 x large rondelle pans
3 blanching pots
If you are not sure if something is there, please ask. You are also welcome to bring your own equipment.
Fire: If you discover fire, activate the nearest alarm and dial 111. If you hear a fire alarm or a warden instructs you to evacuate, exit by your nearest safe green EXIT sign. Only use extinguishers if you are trained, accompanied and it is safe to do so. The assembly area is: THE FOOTPATH TO EITHER SIDE AND AWAY FROM THE BUILDING.
Have an awesome day! We hope you feel the wonderful energy that a day & night service at Everybody Eats brings, and we are not the only ones that really appreciate your time.