For nearly two decades, tableside cooking was all the rage in finer restaurants around the world, both in Europe and the United States. A tuxedoed Captain, or the Maitre d’ Hotel himself, would prepare tableside classics such as Steak Diane and Crepes Suzette, always with the woosh of a big flame. It was a great show.
Tableside cooking faded in the nineties as the Chef took back control. In its place, the Chef worked the middle of the service line and made a point to touch every plate, placing the final garnish and blessing the dish before it is presented to the guest.
Recently, the Meadows Restaurant staff at Sunriver Resort re-lived the glory days of tableside service with a lively conversation in the kitchen. It turns out several of the staff have experience with a variety of tableside dishes, myself included. Even Managing Director Tom O’Shea has experience at the gueridon! The staff shared stories of the dishes they used to prepare, and recounted countless recipes and amusing anecdotes. The stories led to an idea… Why not here, and now?
As a result, Meadows restaurant is now offering two tableside items, a Northwest Caesar Salad with sundried cranberries and candied walnuts, and the irresistible Bananas Foster. The staff is having a blast rolling out the cart every night. In fact, Francesco Bodon, one of the Meadows most requested servers, prepared a flambéed strawberries dish from his past for a local couple – and they loved it!
Time will tell how far this thing goes, but the staff and guests at Meadows Restaurant are enjoying the ride so far.
Image below submitted by recent Meadows Restaurant patron:
Maury Keply, Director of Restaurants at Sunriver Resort
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