Few of my responsibilities as the chef de cuisine is kind of in the title Chef De Cuisine chef of the food I'm in charge of all of the food that's being produced and all of the people that are producing that food I would say I'm under a good amount of pressure especially representing this cuisine in my background and I really want to make.

Sure that I'm being a proper leader for them hey I'm Juliana Latif I'm the chef de cuisine of zuzu's why don't you guys come on in foreign right now it's very quiet in here but in a couple hours it's going to be packed.

We serve lunch and dinner feeding over 600 people for the day it's 9 30 and the first thing we get to do today is set up this beautiful gorgeous fire we have our Grill cook here David it's going to blow this thing up right in Flames we're gonna throw about 40 to 60 eggplant on here and get that ready for our dip.

Thank you let's go check in with the team and taste some dishes for lunch this is our wonderful prep team back here getting everything ready for lunch service lots of work to be done here today.

So right here we have our prep lists for the day so our colors over here are essentially per person over here we have it all broken down kind of by station so this is all based off of who's working that day based off the schedule which I also take care of so every day we have a dozen people in the kitchen in the morning.

So the first thing I'm going to be tasting today is some of our dips I'm here with one of our line Cooks Kristen she's been with us since the beginning she's amazing our dips are like a huge huge part of this restaurant it's essentially setting the mood for the entire meal about every single table that comes in gets a dip Tower we sell.

About 80 dip hours a day all right so this one's our green tahini it is a hot seller we do a little bit of whipped aquafaba on top of it whipped aquafaba is chickpea water that we season with garlic lemon juice and Thyme and we whip it in a KitchenAid mixer until it has these nice you know hard beaks it hides the green tahini and it's.

Really really fun most of our dips were actually a collaboration between me and the executive chef chef Madeleine Sperling we both had a lot of fun creating and getting crazy with it so our big thing here is also texture there's a little bit of avocado to make it nice and smooth some lemon juice right now Kristin nailed it I'm gonna.

Taste the whipped aquafaba next this is our chickpea water it's seasoned with grated garlic lemon juice and salt it is going to taste very very strong because once you whip it and aerate it it'll really tone down those flavors my coffee for the day right now I think this could use a little bit more lemon all right you want.

To taste it too yeah always make them taste it you know if I notice something that is missing and when we you know add lemon juice or whatever we need to add to something we'll taste it again together so that their palette kind of registers what we're looking for so this is our duck Barack.

These are for dinner service we have our amazing prep cook rice over here building a bunch of them she's gonna prep about 30 to 40 of these but before she does all that I'm gonna pop these in so we can taste it before you know we carry on with our day all right so this is our Ember roasted eggplant dip I'm looking for that Smoky.

Char flavor a lot of times with this they clean the eggplant a lot and we lose some of that Char when that does happen we will roast a little bit more eggplant get that skin in there and make sure it's nice and Smoky very good all of these flavors are all flavors that I grew up with I'm about Lebanese and Jordanian background everything has.

A little bit of warmth and a little bit of home when I get to eat it so it's a lot of fun so a Barrack is a traditional filled pastry in the Levant area the duck work is one of our signature dinner dishes it's essentially based off of the duck alarage that is a classic French dish we've got one that has a little bit of a.

Mistake but this is why we do this kind of stuff right here the pastry kind of ripped open you want to kind of roll it nice and loose so that it doesn't end up tearing it's a nice crust not too oily nice and crispy I'm gonna taste this thing now very good you know having a lunch service is a plus and a minus we have a.

You know huge break of our prep time to go ahead and serve about 200 people but it's also a great bonus because all these wonderful Cooks get to help us prepare and get ready for dinner which the speed of service is a little bit different you know we're serving a lot of food for a longer period of time it's about 10 30 right now I'm gonna get this.

Stuff put away I'm gonna hop on to some last minute Butchery for service but I am going to touch base with rice about you know how tight she's rolling the Duff barex and get going for lunch soon all right so this is our local New York City fluke we have a little bit of sweetness in.

This dish from the pickled radishes and then a little bit of heat from that Zug juice it's a green hot sauce usually made with Serranos or jalapenos so every day we butcher one fresh fluke I'm gonna break it down into nice four fillets and then I'm going to cure it with a salt and sugar rub depending on the size we could get about 20 portions of Crudo.

It's my favorite part of the day there's something very you know romantic about butchering fish and I have a lot of pride in it I get to teach a lot of people how to break this down one of my duties as a CDC is to teach people how to do everything so I'm passing on all my knowledge to the team and it's really rewarding so I'm actually just going to.

Make a couple marks right now of where my fillets are down here the fish has its guts so I'm going to cut around there make sure I don't puncture any guts and make a huge mess go right down here right in the spine and you can kind of feel it some people like to remove these guts before they break this down but.

I like to kind of live on the edge using my boning knife holding up against the bones that's the key you know you always want to hear your knife kind of hit these bones and that's how you know you're doing a good job so that's one filet and we're gonna get four all day but this side is the flatter side of the fish it's gonna have.

A little bit less meat as you can see there are no eyes on the side of the fish funny looking guy now I'm going to remove the skin trim it up and get it ready to cure if you have a really nice sharp knife all you got to do let your knife do the work now they're ready to be cured right here we have our fish cure it's just a very.

Simple three to one three-part salt one part sugar so essentially The Cure is just going to season it kind of quote unquote cook it a little bit and then I'm gonna portion some already cured fluke for our lunch service so this is a single bevel slicer it's meant especially for fish.

It's very top heavy so that your knife kind of does all the work a little bit of olive oil on a napkin to kind of wet my knife lube it up and a little bit right on the fish so it's easier to slice essentially I want a nice thin slice I don't want to get it too crazy thin to where there's no texture I'm not putting.

Any pressure down on this knife otherwise the fish will shred for lunch service we'll serve about eight to ten quarters of fluke and dinner service will serve about 15. so we prep about 20 plus orders of fluke every day all right so it's 11 15 right now let's go set up Expo for lunch.

All right we've got 10 minutes until people start arriving and this dining room fills up this is our Expo board this is what we use to hold all of our tickets and organize them for service our line is broken up into four sections we have garmache over here this is where we do all of our salads Kudos right down here we have our dip section and then.

Over here we have a saute section where we fire some burgers and then all the way at the end we have the wood fire grill that's the star of the show what's special about this line is that it's in an open kitchen technically called our service kitchen and in the back that's our prep kitchen they get the show and a meal we try to have a lot of fun here I.

Always get a little bit of you know pre-service Jitters especially when Expediting because you are the leader I like to make sure that my ticket printer is nice and full with a fresh roll of paper your mood and your attitude going into Service reflects how everyone's day is gonna go gotta keep it cool calm and collected.

all right we got our first ticket of the day so I'll be calling the five dips and the first course first and then I'll let everybody know what's on back and when to fire that fire five dips we're gonna fire a Hamachi and a fluke over here and in our second course we.

Have two Caesar two Cobb so I'm marking the table number right on the bottom left of the tickets this way I can stack my tickets without necessarily having to see the table number that's printed out just got our second ticket in so we have one hot app our saute cook elions is gonna be firing one artichoke all the.

Way on the grill station he has his own ticket printer so he will know when to fire those artichokes that's kind of a solo station you have to have a good memory the trick for the cooks is to pull all their plates so when they hear a Caesar salad they'll pull a Caesar salad plate and if they ever get confused they'll ask me for an all day.

And an all day is essentially what that station needs to make on the entirety of the board in that moment all right so we've got five dips going to counter one and then what we have next is a Hamachi fluke and I'm just waiting for another Runner hands please so you'll hear me call for hands and.

Essentially that's me asking the food Runners to kind of step up to the plate and get ready to gather whichever table we're about to walk you take one Hamachi one fluke counter one I crossed it off as it walked to walk a ticket essentially means to sell the food to the food Runners and they'll.

Walk it straight to the guests myself and Chef Maddie we interchange between you know who's Expediting for lunch there's only one expediter and then for dinner we have two expediters one on the cold station and one on the hot station the expediter is like driving the bus and can't really let go of the steering wheel.

We're gonna take two chickpea Burgers one with fries one with salads and a zoo Burger to counter four all right so this ticket is fully walked I'm gonna go ahead and stab it now it's our first ticket of the night thank you so much so this right here is what we call a chip.

Essentially it is for any VIP guests or any allergies we'll get a little note like this this is our way of communicating with the dining room team so it's 2 p.m right now lunch service is just about over but my job's not finished follow me all right so we're going to start taking.

Inventory of some of our products since we have to do ordering every single day here I'm just going to come in see what we have in house and see what we need to get in for tomorrow we make these nice Excel sheets for all our different sections of where we need to take inventory and if I need something I'll kind of just put one case if we're all.

Set on it I'll give it a little check mark and say we're good to go there tomorrow's Friday it's a very busy day let's get a lot in for the weekend we sell a lot of labny we press a lot of ricotta for that whipped ricotta dip so we're gonna go check that walk in downstairs come on down.

All right so this is our Dry Goods area lots of fun stuff that I get to take inventory of something that I will check every day are pretty much the basics like salt we go through maybe about four boxes throughout the whole building in a day sometimes accidents happen people will spill a box of salt so I'm gonna get an extra case just to cover our.

Bases there right now I'm just checking our inventory for our grape leaves this is what we use for our fire roasted sea bass we go through about two to four jars a day we've got about a dozen here that's good for tonight tomorrow and maybe the next day also gonna check out our saffron that we have here saffron is very very expensive it's about fifty.

Dollars for this little tin here this is something that we always have to keep track of this is not really something you can run to the store and grab most of the uh specialty goods are from colusians that's one of our purveyors they provide us with a lot of cool stuff next up is the produce walk-in so right in here is where we keep all of.

Our produce we have again tons of product in here it always needs to stay nice and tight and organized even if it feels like we have a lot in here we always need to get a little bit more to cover you know our bases because you never know when someone's gonna order maybe three dip towers for two people I have to go place these orders now and.

Then shift into dinner mode all right let's get out of here it's four o'clock right now this is our last push before our big dinner service right here we've got our lamb shot going really super important ingredient in this restaurant and a couple of our sauces most importantly the sauce for.

The smoked baby lamb chops when we make a smoked Cherry sauce and this is the base of it this lamb stock will add lots of bodies and lots of depth and flavor into that smoked baby lamb chop sauce you're eating a lamb chop and you're tasting the sweetness from the sauce but also there's a little bit more depth from all this lamb so this goes for two.

Days yesterday we roasted up all of our lamb trim from any of our product got it in here with some mirepoix a little bit of tomato paste early this morning we strained it constantly skimming the fat off of it and letting it to reduce to our desired texture I'm looking for color I'm looking for flavor and I'm making sure that there's not too much.

Fat in here really good it's super close I think it needs to go for another you know half hour 45 minutes to get to that perfect consistency and then we'll be good to go and the rest of the items I got a taster out on the line so follow me right behind right behind so one of the first things I'm going to.

Taste for dinner service is our tomato vinaigrette which is going to go on our sea bass it's pairing with a very simple fish this has to be very strong this is Lance he's our Grill cook at night time he's made this for us and we're going to connect about it right now very good I think it does need a little.

Bit of olive oil it's a little bit too acidic or we're looking for a nice balance of heat sweet acid so that olive oil is going to kind of cool it down for us go ahead and fix that up for me Lance our sea bass dish is very simple it's butterflied black bass wrapped in grape leaves and then we cook that right over the grill so it's charring the leaves.

Steaming the fish inside and then that is paired with this tomato vinaigrette very simple but very strong flavors to kind of you know balance it all out Lance and I are tasting this back and forth making sure he understands exactly what we're looking for perfect good job all right so I've got to go taste a couple more things for.

Dinner service and then we're gonna wrap it up and get out of here what's up Chef how are you very good so all of our check-ins for dinner are done we've gone through the whole prep.

List to make sure everything's finished this place is about to get packed since I expedited lunch service I'm going to pass the rains off to Chef Maddie over here I hope you guys had a wonderful time following me around and I hope I got to teach you a little bit about what it's like to be a CDC in New York City I'm going to get out of here really soon.

And you guys should too peace he knows just about everything you need to know in this restaurant he's my number one guy yeah


Leave a Comment