Have you ever wondered what chefs such as Pascal Olhats feed themselves and their kitchen crew before service? Me neither. But now that I've brought it up, I bet you are. Starting tomorrow, the French chef extraordinaire, who has a half-dozen eateries in OC, will start offering exactly these meals to the general public from the back door of Epicerie on Bristol Street.
These “Staff Meals” change from day-to-day and aren't necessarily going to be French. Tomorrow's inaugural dish is sweet-and-sour chicken with stir-fried veggies. Indian, Mexican and meatloaf also show up in this week's menu. Whatever the meal, it is supposedly the same food Olhats has fed his waiters, dishwashers, busboys, cooks and himself for the past 20 years before they start serving duck confit and escargot to his Tradition by Pascal guests.
I'm not sure if the idea would necessarily appeal to Olhats' usual uppity Newport Beach clientele, but it is an intriguing proposition I've not yet heard of any restaurateur in OC trying. At the very least, it's a clever marketing scheme. I'm writing about it, aren't I?
The meals are $10 apiece, packed individually in microwaveable containers, meant to be picked up and eaten at home. No substitutions are allowed, and they are only available Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Tickets will be sold inside the epicerie for $10, and there's a special introductory rate: if you buy 12 tickets, you get an extra one for free–a so-called “Baker's Dozen” offer.