Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Camp 2008 -- Menu review

Each year as camp approaches, I brush off my notebook and review meal comments. As in past years, I recorded written comments each day as the week progressed. I used the notebook to jot down new recipes, meal likes and dislikes, purchasing comments, etc.

Many of these comments were transformed into blog entries here at ‘Round the Chuckbox. Click on these links to review entries for the last three years:
Since opening the camp kitchen in 2002, I've used the same menu. So, I plan to leave the menu in place again this year.

Other than a flop or two (and the Thursday senior banquet meal), the menu stays the same throughout the week. I’m always reluctant to change much because I've the campers like it.

I've used the adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” to my benefit. A consistent menu benefits the chef, staff and campers alike. Even though the staff only cook one out of 52 weeks, it gives them consistency. Experience easily transfers to each succeeding year as the cooks learn the menu and its recipes.

Since 2007 was a fragmented year -- we exchanged several meals during the week -- the menu requires a much closer review for the 2008 session, which runs from June 29 to July 6, 2008. Overall, I believe the menu is sound and well accepted by campers and staff alike.

My goal is to find menu items to that need changing due to:
  • Menu items with decreasing acceptability -- some items don't have the appeal they once had with campers. Since my goal is to serve nutritious food that campers enjoy and will eat, I may need to reconsider a few items.
  • Cost due to increasing food prices -- this has been a big factor over the last two years. So far, the camp director has been generous. But this may change because increased prices his all program areas and impact the camp's fund raising goals.
  • Personal menu fatigue -- this aspect of menu review contradicts my stated purpose that food is a means to the end. The chef isn't there to satisfy his creative desire.
I'll explorer each element of my menu review in separate blogs over the next week. Please stay tuned ...

1 comment:

  1. I've "known" you for years through the ACA board (my name is "Trees") and linked to your blog for the first time today. It is FABULOUSLY helpful in planning food service. I can't wait to read your thoughts for 2008!