Chef Marla

Author archive

it’s all in the details….

When do you add the garlic to the dish? How you sort the heirloom baby carrots by size so they cook evenly and can be used best on each dish? Which light bulb goes over the tables (50 watt, 12 degree spot) and which shines on the artwork on the walls (35 watt, 20 degree […]

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Hire a Lighting Designer.

I didn’t do this until several years after I opened the new location. Thought I couldn’t afford it. Thought the architect would take care of it. I was $30,000.00 over budget with change orders and we were three months behind with a contractor who was not paying his subs. Maybe I couldn’t have spared the money and the […]

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New Linens

Our linen company (Company #1) was bought out recently by another company. Most linen companies work on a par level which means the restaurant sets how much of each kind of napkin, cleaning towels, tables cloths we will need each week. We use cotton napkins, bar towels, 42 inch table cloths, 52 inch table cloths, 62 […]

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Buy a Manitowoc Ice Machine….

Clean it and hug it every day. Get in touch with their authorized service rep.  He will keep it running for years. I bought mine in 1996. My service man keeps suggesting I may need a new one soon and then he fixes it for less than $200.00. I really do hug it and pat […]

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Spring Menus

My favorite menu of the year is spring. Navarin of Lamb is coming back (Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables). But some of the other items Chef Justin and I are looking at: English Peas, Asparagus, Morels, Roasted Chicken, White Bean Soup with Pancetta, Tempura Baby Heirloom Carrots, Artichokes (best in May when the California crop comes […]

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Chef Justin Kurtz

I hired Justin Kurtz as our chef several months ago. I was at a crossroads with Babette’s and my own role in the restaurant.  I had turned over the kitchen a couple of times over the years to people who had been on my staff and they took the role as Chef de Cuisine or […]

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Open Table Diner’s Choice Winner!

Babette’s Cafe has been recognized recently by Open Table as a Diner’s Choice Thank you to everyone who takes the time to review us! It matters!        

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How to Start a Busy Weekend

It’s going to be a busy weekend at the restaurant. We’re fully booked with people who preplan – thank you – this weekend for Valentine’s Day A busy weekend in the restaurant will end better if I start with comfortable shoes. They might be ugly though.

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You Have to Know What Clean Really Is….

I scrub the faucet handles on the hand sink in the kitchen. There are instructions on the food handling tests that the Chef, Sous and Manager have to take in Georgia that tell us all how to wash our hands. It instructs for how long and for us to let the water run while grabbing a paper […]

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My Beautiful Daughter.

The first time I brought my daughter to the restaurant she was in a car carrier and I placed her into a steam well in the kitchen while I prepped. She was three weeks old. She slept and I was euphoric that I could roll out pastry dough, bake tarts, cut meat and put soup on […]

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