Kim Rodgers, executive pastry chef at Hugo’s in Portland, Maine, sought to re-envision Waldorf salad for a dessert application. With lemon olive oil cake and cucumber ice cream as the foundation, she considered how she could work in the common Waldorf salad ingredients. Her conclusion was to add torn pieces of red butter lettuce, candied walnuts, shaved apple slices twisted into a cone, almost like a flower, and local green grapes juiced and turned into a foam. She also added Earl Grey mousse line, cucumber blossoms, lemon balm and Ruby Moon bean blossoms.
While Hugo’s, Eventide Oyster Co. and They Honey Paw have separate storefronts and entrances, they share a single kitchen. Each restaurant has its own line, and there is a larger prep area with a walk-in cooler. All three restaurants share the staff meal, which is served at 3:30 p.m. every day and prepared by multiple people.
“From the beginning, we didn’t want our staff meal to be an afterthought,” says Smith. “When I was working other restaurants, there were days when I would say, “Why did I wait around for this?” The meal was just such a disappointment. It totally defeated the purpose of having a family meal.”