Many people may think that the pastry department exists simply to create the dessert you see on your plate. While the kitchen is responsible for appetizers, soups, salads, pasta and meat dishes, how can that little baking nook in the corner be so busy?
Well, to begin with, we have a much smaller staff (only two full-time people, one part-time and an intern) as opposed to the many, many other staff who work the line and in the kitchen.
Second, a lot of what we make you never see. Truffles for hotel room guests and flatbreads for the appetizers are a small part of it. The big part is all the weddings, special dinners and lunches, meetings, donations, and so on. A wedding reception may request 500 mini vanilla-bean cheesecakes with blueberry compote. A guest may be hosting an appetizer lunch and needs a cookie plate with 150 cookies of various kinds readied. A recent client appreciation event required many plates of Concord grape juice- and port-poached pears to be prepped and served with fromage blanc.
It all keeps us quite busy, and from your seat in the dining room you’d never even guess from the seven items on the dessert menu.
Garrett McCord is a freelance and staff food writer. He’ll be working at Grange restaurant throughout September. You can read his work in Edible Sacramento, Sacramento News and Review, and his blog, Vanilla Garlic.