Preparing for the Grand Buffet is absolutely horrible. The week before is filled with meetings before and after class. On top of that, you have to make it into class as early as possible, and you have to do your best to not flip out on your team members, who are just as stressed by the week-long process as you.
But it’s all worth it in the end; as a student, I learned a lot about myself and a lot about being a true chef.
The Grand Buffet is the Garde Manger and Charcuterie class’s final project, which combines everything we learned over the past seven weeks. The final project is a true achievement, but I’m glad I didn’t have to do it alone. We divided into three groups, and mine had a bit of trouble when, at the last minute, we went from four people to three. Luckily, we had a plan just in case this happened. That was the first important lesson: always have a backup plan, just in case something happens. I also learned a lot about working with a group. We had to meet regularly, which meant finding a common time that worked for everyone and making sure everyone was on the same page.
Ask anyone who has had to prepare for this buffet, and they’ll tell you the same thing: You feel the stress when you start on Monday, and it doesn’t end until that last dish gets cleaned on Thursday. Now that it’s all said and done, I’m sure this is the right industry for me.