KITCHEN KEY INFORMATION
Who: We are looking to engage trained chefs and confident home cooks. We are preparing and serving a lot of food so volunteers need to be confident using a knife and preparing food. People doing dishes need to be aware it can be hard work and it also gets quite hot.
When: Monday nights. Cooks/chefs come anytime between midday and 6pm and leave anytime up until 9pm. Cooks/chefs normally come for prep and service from midday - 8.30pm, but sometimes will just come to prep or serve the food. If you can only make it for part of the day please let us know. Dishwashing volunteers need to arrive by 6pm and stay until 8.45/9pm.
Where: We are located at Gemmayze St Restaurant in St Kevin’s Arcade, 183 Karangahape Rd, Auckland City.
What to bring/wear: Yourself, an apron, comfortable closed toe shoes and your knife/knives if cooking.
Gemmayze St Kitchen Briefing
Please read before you come
Guests can arrive for dinner anytime from 5.30 pm and service is officially 6-8pm. We are typically full by 6.15pm. This means your food needs to be ready for service at 5.30 pm so we can give you a briefing, allow you to demonstrate how you want each dish plated and set yourselves up for a successful service.
The space seats 95pax and we expect to serve around 270 pax per week. This is usually three full seatings with a few additional late arrivals.
The kitchen is fairly small, the ideal number in there is 6, not including dishwasher(s).
Chefs need to arrive at midday, and will be shown the food, then asked to come up with a menu. You may need one or two things which we will purchase for you and have back very quickly. 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 eggs and dairy.
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 but not large portions, 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.
3 course menu
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 ¾ of the giant pot. 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 blitz 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 beef, lamb or pork mince. E.g shepherd's pie, lamb tagine or chicken stir fry. 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. We need 5/6 meat mains and 1/6 vegetarian mains. Our manager will let you know how many people we are aiming to feed. i.e 300 pax means 250 meat mains, 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, e.g ice cream, yoghurt.
We normally provide volunteers to help with prep (peeling/chopping) throughout the day (depending on what’s needed) and one or two experienced cooks. Just ask how many we have to help you to make sure you are comfortable.
We need to plate food quickly as we are pushing out around 600 plates in the first hour. This means dishes with a maximum of two or three elements are essential. You will sometimes 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 cook and serve each course.
We need all sections to be able to serve food at the same time, so it pays to officially assign two people to each course, but typically, what happens is that we start a few people in the kitchen 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 at say 6.30pm when almost everyone is focussed on mains you can still get soup and dessert orders.
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. FOH staff will just ask you for what they need during service and you will prepare takeaway portions to order.
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.
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 try and respect this by giving the kitchen a proper clean down at the end of the night. With many hands makes light work as they say and if the Kitchen team help by running down the cleaning checklist at the end of the night it can save us heaps of time when trying to close up. Please allow for an extra 20 minutes after service to get everything back to perfect.
Cleaning / Close down
The kitchen is a full commercial kitchen with most of the gear you would expect including:
Target top stove
Four burner gas stove
Static oven under target top
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.