Notes from the Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts GM Conference.

February 15, 2011

Matthew Barton is a Sous Chef at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He and Chef Brian Sterner recently hosted the Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts General Managers Conference. He told me that the event required him to work more hours and culinary events than ever before at the resort. I am grateful for his dedication and share with you his immediate thoughts after the conference below.

After great debate, it is confirmed that there are enough hours in the day for a chef. What is done with this time is clearly what separates the greatly trained from the greatly aspiring.

Plate concepts, flavors, aromas, shapes, colors and contrasts are all useful identifications in the kitchen. Still, true performance can be measured before one comes in contact with any food at all.

Planning thoughts, drawing maps, sketching ideas, brainstorming daily operations, assigning projects and collecting data are the practices that seem to be the difference, in my opinion, between absolute success and utter disappointment.

This is not to say however that the success will please you. And, while I received several “pats on the back” for a job well done during the Parks & Resorts GM conference, I often questioned the moves I made what I could have done better. A feeling of disappointment tens to arise when you sit back and watch yourself work twice as hard as you need to – to complete something that in hindsight appeared so simple.

After little argument, it turns out after all that that there are enough hours in the days. I am okay with knowing that I am one of those greatly aspiring individuals. And I am grateful to work with Chef Henin and others who are so greatly trained.