In this industry we are always looking to the future. Depending on where your role lies in the grand heirarchy, will depend on exactly how far ahead you are looking. At the bottom of the scale - the commis are looking ahead to the next service - dinner (at the moment). Do they have enough plates polished, is the cutlery ready, have they got enough napkins etc. The Chef de Rangs and Head Waiters start looking to the next service - whats the table layout for tomorrow, do we need to order any extra butter, extra linen, condiments etc. The supervisors are looking to next week - have we got any functions coming up, do i need some extra cover for that shift, can we squeeze a training session in next wednesday. The managers start looking to the following month - are we going to make budget, have we got enough staff rostered on, do we need to purchase any more crockery, glassware, cutlery etc. The F&B manager is looking to the next quarter - will we make budget, what functions are coming in, training plans, payroll costs, replacing staff. The General Manager starts looking at next year - preparing budgets - what needs refurbishing - how much Capex is that going to cost. And at the top of the scale - the Managing Director is looking as far afield as ten years from now - large scale refurbishments - business development plans etc. Its quite scary sometimes when you break it all down. I bring this up, because having pretty much sorted out the New Years eve wines, my next job is to put together next years Gourmet Calendar. Im looking at 2008, and its only just the third week of May.
Now we already have the first gourmet planned. I hate to say it, but that was actually sorted out in February. Now Ive just got the rest of the year to sort out. And thats partly why Im procrastinating - Ive run out of ideas. Well not strictly true - Ive run out of practical ideas. So far Ive got five gourmets - three of them are viable, the other two are iffy. By iffy I mean that Im not sure there will be sufficient interest in the events to make them a doable option. One of them is the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon, and the other is wines of the Pacific Northwest. Now the later is a particular favourite of mine, but the hardest part of it is actually securing the wines. In my mind I would like to show some Washington wines - and thats ok because I can get hold of some Andrew Will wines from Morris and Verdun. I also want to show Oregon, and again I can get some Drouhin Oregon Pinot also from M&V, or some Jepson from Simon at Whirly wines (Ive been promising to get some off of him for a while now!). Where things start to fall apart is British Columbia. Theres a wine Id give my left bollock to get my hands on. Its from a winery called Blasted Church based in the Okanangan Valley. Their labels are just brilliant - quirky cartoonish, and while the reviews arent glowing, its had a lot of very positive press in right places. Check them out for yourselves - www.blastedchurch.com . The other stumbling block is the whites. I can find plenty of washington whites if I dont mind them being on the supermarket shelves as well. Well I do mind, not out of snobbery, thought. So Ive got a feeling this one might well be consigned to the maybe pile.
And thats where I run out of ideas. So if anyones got any inspiration, Id love to hear it.