Thursday, May 24, 2007

Voodoo Chicken & Wiener Magic

Here's a little discovery of mine - not really a brilliant one, but a discovery... even in a school cafeteria, a little marketing goes a long way. For those of you who don't know, in the mornings I am the chef in a private school for kids from 1st to 12th grade. Its kind of a unique place - we make up menus for the week, students and faculty order off of the menu when they get to school, and by the time they come in to eat we have their orders ready to go. Since the three of us in the kitchen decide what we'll have, we can play around a bit. Some days hot dogs and fries, pizza, or something equally schoolish - and other days we grill scallops, stuff pork loins, cook alligator, etc... In the past few days we've had a burger day, grilled cheese day, almond crusted pollock with lemon cream day, and jasmine tea smoked salmon with wasabi day... see what I'm getting at? It's a wacky, wonderful place where I can try out all sorts of stuff to use in my catering business.
Anyway, we've discovered that even the kids get into it if you sell them on it. Today, for example, I made a chicken and sweet potato soup with saffron, buttermilk, and a little dried chipotle for kick... and in the past I might have made a sign saying something along the lines of what it was, but since it was 85 degrees outside and I wanted them to eat it, I went with "Big Papa Joe's Voodoo Chicken". Do I have any left? No. Not a drop. The funny thing is, I watched kids come in from recess covered in sweat, look at the sign next to a steaming hot tureen of soup and say, "Voodoo chicken.. cool... gotta get me some of that..."
The other oddity we had today was some little pigs-sans-blanket that we found in the freezer. At some point we were given these wee little hot dogs, and instead of wrapping them in pastry, we made a sweet & hot sauce out of pineapple and chili sauce for them to swim in. Because I despise the wee dog, I was murmuring to Kate all day that she should work her wiener magic to make them palatable. The sign on the salad bar, naturally, said "Sweet and Spicy Wiener Magic"... mostly because it just felt so funny to actually write down. Seriously, name one other job where you can print out a "Sweet and Spicy Wiener Magic" sign. The icing on the cake of my day was actually taking down the sign though... there in my hands was a little 3x5 card WITH THE TAPE ALREADY ATTACHED! Now seriously, how could I do anything but tape it onto some one's back? Call me a child if you must, but look deep inside yourself - you know you would do it too. Don't think so? Try this - make a little sign that says "Sweet and Spicy Wiener Magic", attach some tape to it, and just hold it in your hand for a minute. You'll see, it's irresistible. It almost pulses with potential comedic energy... and almost before I knew it, as if I was in some Wiener Magic trance, I was patting my coworker Meri on the back as I walked by, deftly planting the sign right between her shoulder blades.
"Going somewhere after work Meri? No? Didn't you drive your convertible today? Lovely spring day, you should take advantage..."
"I've been meaning to stop at TJ Max..."
...and with that, Meri turned around and sauntered out, the "Sweet and Spicy Wiener Magic" sign fading out like the sunset as she walked away...

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics