Staff Meals from Chanterelle
By David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips


Chanterelle was one of my favourite restaurants when I lived in New York City; sadly, it closed in 2009. It was a fine-dining restaurant, but the service was warm and welcoming, rather than cold and aloof. While I'd welcome a cookbook of some of the dishes served there (its guinea fowl was so delicious that I rank all other guinea fowl dishes against it), I was more than happy to find this book of meals that it served its staff.

The "family meal" sets the tone of a restaurant: if the staff are served really bad food made up of the cheapest ingredients day after day, they'll become resentful and feel undervalued. They'll also get really annoyed at their colleagues who prepare the food for them, which doesn't make for a harmonious working environment. From this book, though, it seems as though the staff at Chanterelle ate very well.

The ingredients used for the staff meal aren't necessarily expensive (although there is the occasional roast beef splurge), but, as you'd expect, the food is well prepared, and the dishes are varied. There are recipes for pot-au-feu; chilled red cooked beef; hamburgers; lamb and chicken couscous; chicken with 40 cloves of garlic; Thai duck curry; braised rabbit with Dijon mustard; lasagne for a crowd; potato latkes; ham and cheese crepes with tarragon cream sauce; dried fruits with spiced red wine; and cream cheese pound cake.