Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eating at the Chef's Table

Those of you who frequent this blog know that my "day job" is at Jefferson Lab, a nuclear physics research lab in Newport News, VA. It is a very interesting place to work, not only because of the world-leading science that is done there, but the international nature of the workforce. Needless to say, it leads to some very interesting culinary adventures, many of which I will be sharing over the next weeks and months. I have gotten recipes for salmon from Jim (already posted!), corn pudding and poppy seed cake from Sheila, broccoli salad from Sharon, curry and pilaf recipes from Swapan... well, you get my drift.

We are very fortunate to have a cafeteria at JLab that tries to meet the many dietary needs and preferences of our diverse population. Run under contract by the Compass Group, one of the largest food service companies in the world, our Quark Cafe (named via a contest among Jlab employees and users) has a staff that knows us by name, and our own CIA-trained chef, Chris (okay, we know we are lucky!) We have a salad and deli bar every day, two soup choices, and entrees that include cafeteria standards such as meat loaf or chicken divan as well as falafel and stuffed eggplant.
Every Thursday, besides our regular menu choices, staff and users are invited to the Chef's Table, a speical entree made to order by Chef Chris at a special cooking station set up where he can be observed working his culinary magic. Chef's Table entrees always atract a crowd- Chris has featured mussels and clams in wine sauce, salad with beef tenderloin and blue cheese, a seafood plate that included crab cake, salmon fillet and shrimp in a light cream sauce, and my personal favorite , made-to-order sushi rolls. For $7.99 on Thursdays, we can get a restaurant quality meal, watch a chef in action and enjoy Chris' easy banter without even leaving the site. I have posted pictures here of one of his Chef's Table entrees and you will notice right away the (great) quality of this picture- that's because they were taken by our JLab fotog, Greg Adams.

The Quark Cafe is so much a part of life at Jefferson Lab, it is hard to imagine what it would be like not to have such a great place to get a good breakfast or lunch right on site. What do you do for lunch? Brown bag it? Go out? Eat at your desk? Or do you have your own cafeteria that you frequent. I invited you to lunch at JLab, now's your turn to take us along for your lunch break!

7 comments:

s'kat said...

Wow- now that is one fabulous perk to have at work!

Gattina said...

made-to-order sushi?!!! I will come on Thursday =) =)

Deborah Dowd said...

Shelley- I told you we were lucky...

Gattina- That was my favorite Chef's Table- we got two huge sushi rolls made before our eyes for $7.99!

Truffle said...

Lucky you- I am so jealous! It looks wonderful :)

Deborah Dowd said...

Truffle- I know I ate every bite!

Kristen said...

What a great place to work!

Deborah Dowd said...

Kristen- You think the food's great- if you have kids send them to our science education website! It uses games such as "Who wants to be a Millionaire" to teach science and math in a fun way and the Standards of Learning drills are great for test prep!