Cooking by candlelight

Joined Jul 31, 2000
yesterday was a funny day,

My hotel was booked, the restaurant was sold out..a couple of private functions scheduled, and right before service we lost all power!!!We had a very windy day in Ct, and a tree came down on a main down the street from the hotel. So, I had 185 reservations in my main restuarant,55 people in private functions..and 135 staff members to feed:confused:

So right away I called our security department to run us in a batch of flashlights, and then I had the wait staff fire up about 30votive and tapered candles and placed them all over the kitchen. Now..The guest were aware of what was happening, but my restaurant has tons of windows, so it wasn't really dark in the dining room. the two private functions both we're in rooms that overlooked the gardens and had big french doors to let in the sunlight. So I had my staff line up all our cassete feus behind the line, and I told the servers to give us ten minutes to set up.
After a couple minutes I told them to go and take orders from the guest, by this time the restaurant was packed with hungry folks.
I grabbed everyone I could, and there we everything on the menu ala minute and by candlelight. Thank god my walk ins and hood system run on a back up generator, so I didn't worry about setting off the ansul system, or loosing things due to tempature. You guys would have had a really good laugh if you saw us (12) cooks cooking side by side and by candlelight.

I think the hardest part of the day was trying to read the dupes and not lighting them on fire when we held them to the candles.

Well we feed everyone....even the staff..(sandwiches)
What made this so much fun was the great team work of my staff, and that 10 guests came into the kitchen to give us a standing ovation
This made me think of what others may have had to deal with in the 11th hour


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
That is a great story CC!!!:eek: I have had that happen to me also, on a Friday night with 300 covers. It is amazing how we can pull things off like that, without the guests knowing. My hat is off to you!!!
Joined Feb 21, 2001
We lost power at the country club last summer on a friday afternoon before a big wedding on a saturday. I left for the day and they went out and bought about 500 lbs of dry ice to put in the two walkins. I opened the walkin the next morning at 5 am and walked into pure carbon dioxide, which had me gasping and choking in a split second.
Joined Nov 20, 2000
Brad, picture me standing here applauding you. Good job. Now that's keeping your head
Joined Jan 1, 2001
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Cape Chef!!!

Big Hat--you are lucky to be alive! Was all your produce frozen hard as rocks?
Joined Jul 24, 2001
This is my favorite kind of stories cape chef :)

Well a black-out lead me to the world of pastries one night in London in " Famagusta" a cyprian restaurant...
I baked a pan of galaktompoureko in the fireplace :) Old technique from Mani. We bake bread that way.

I didn't know that I had to mention this in my repertoire :)
Joined Apr 30, 2001
Well done, Brad! Many congratulations! It's going the extra mile that makes you so special.

Really wish I could find that clapping smilie....
Joined Feb 21, 2001
Stuff that was on the shelves right under the blocks of dry ice was frozen solid from the cold pouring down over it. that kind of amazed me, that a turkey breast 2 feet from the ice could freeze like that. Power goes out at this place any time there's thunder, let alone a storm. Had a lot of lightning damage to irrigation computers this year.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Cape Chef , great job . You show the true meaning of the word chef . Customer service with a flair . Thanks for the post Chef .
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Funny how so many people had the same thing happen!! It happened to me about 4 years ago. Hotel I was working in got hit by lightning. The long and short of it... we had 600 guests and our entire staff to feed. Well, we had one mighty long extension cord stretch 2 blocks to the nearest place w/electricity to run a slicer to make sandwiches for the staff. However, the guests got a hot meal. How, you ask? Did you know you can get an oven up to about 300* with a sheet-tray full of Sterno?! Don't ask... it didn't taste great, but it was hot. They were happy. We were happy to go home!
Good job, B! Should have called me... I would have been on the next Amtrak to help (or at least marvel at your hard work!) Your crew deserves the Golden Hospitality Award... if there is such a thing.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
You guys are all so sweet and thoughtful, It's my staff that made the difference. I am sure that every single one of you would have handled yourself with proffesionalism. It's all in the traineing right?
Thanks again
It means allot
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Hey Cape Chef , dont be to modest . You embrace the name of Chef by taking KAOS ( yeah Get Smart ) and turning it into a winning scenario . You are the Cef , the chief , the coach and sometimes dad to your employees . Yeah you could not of done it without them but they could not have done it without you also .
Great job again and may the force be with you hombre .
Joined Jul 18, 2000
rocking mr. I too also had such a situation. My advice - for lighting, attach rubber bands together and then fasten them around a flashlight. Loop the bands around your shoulder tighten and sit the flashlight on your shoulder - voila just like a "Aliens" colonial marine and you've got hands free for cooking as well.


Latest posts

Top Bottom