Come In, We're ClosedAn Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants

“…From the hands of Jody and Christine, we are given the opportunity to enjoy staff meals around the globe.” –Ferran Adrià,

Peer behind the “closed” sign in the world’s greatest restaurants, and you may glimpse a packed table whose seats are elusive even to the most in-the-know diner: the daily staff meal. This insider’s look goes behind the scenes to share the one-of-a-kind dishes professional cooks feed each other. Join authors Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy as they share these intimate staff meal traditions, including exclusive interviews and never-before-recorded recipes, from twenty-five iconic restaurants including: Ad Hoc in Napa, California; Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain; The Fat Duck in London, England; McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina; Uchi in Austin, Texas; Michel et Sébastien Bras in Laguiole, France; wd~50 in New York City, New York, and many more. Enjoy more than 100 creative and comforting dishes made to sate hunger and nourish spirits, like skirt steak stuffed with charred scallions; duck and shrimp paella; beef heart and watermelon salad; steamed chicken with lily buds; Turkish red pepper and bulgur soup; homemade tarragon and cherry soda; and buttermilk doughnut holes with apple-honey caramel glaze. It’s finally time to come in from the cold and explore the meals that fuel the hospitality industry; your place has been set.

Christine Carroll traded in a career as a scientist for the life of a line cook nearly a decade ago while living in England. Since then, she has graduated from the French Culinary Institute, tested recipes for Saveur, and served as Director of the Bowery Culinary Center for Whole Foods Market Manhattan. A contributor to Edible D.C., she also founded CulinaryCorps, the nation’s first volunteer service organization for culinary professionals. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and toddler. | Jody Eddy is the author of and contributes to several print and web publications including Food Arts, Plate Magazine, Culinary Trends, and Kinfolk Magazine. She has cooked in the kitchens of Jean Georges, Tabla and The Fat Duck and is an instructor at several culinary schools throughout America. She is the former Executive Editor of Art Culinaire Magazine and is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. She lives in New Jersey.

Grilled Little Gems with Garlic Croutons and Citrus Vinaigrette

Skirt Steak Stuffed with Charred Scallions

Red Fresno Chile–Garlic Sauce

Skillet-Glazed King Trumpet Mushrooms


Grilled Little Gems with Garlic Croutons and Citrus Vinaigrette


Serves 6


Torn Garlic Croutons

1 cup (237 milliliters) olive oil

Cloves from 3 small heads of garlic (about 1 cup)

Half of a 10-inch (25 centimeters) round loaf of country bread

Kosher salt to taste

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
Citrus Vinaigrette

1 cup (237 milliliters) freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup (59 milliliters) Champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (237 milliliters) canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Little Gems

6 heads Little Gem lettuce (see recipe header)

1/4 cup (59 milliliters) olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 slices (167 grams) thick-cut smoked bacon, fried and crumbled

2 large red radishes, thinly shaved

1/2 cup (91 grams) green Cerignola olives, sliced off the pit


For the croutons: Place the oil and garlic in a small pot. Heat over high heat until bubbles begin to appear, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are tender. Remove the pot from the heat; set aside to cool to room temperature.


Strain the oil from the cloves, reserving both separately. In a food processor, purée the cloves until they form a thick paste. Reserve for the Skirt Steak on page 000, or refrigerate in a lidded jar for up to 1 week. Yields about 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) purée.


Since Ad Hoc uses day old bread they remove the crust and discard but if using fresh, this step is optional. Tear the bread into irregular bite-sized pieces.


Heat a sauté pan large enough to hold all the bread in a single layer over medium heat. When warm but not hot, add half of the reserved garlic oil (storing the remainder in the refrigerator for another use) and the bread. As the oil begins to bubble, flip the bread pieces in the oil and season liberally with salt. Continue cooking and turning the croutons until lightly golden and slightly crisp, about 12 minutes. (Should the contents begin to sizzle, turn the heat down—you are going too fast.)


Add the butter and swirl the skillet to coat the bread evenly. The butter will begin to brown at the same pace as the bread. Continue to turn the bread until it is deep golden brown and very crisp, about 10 minutes more. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, season again with salt, and keep warm. (These will keep well in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature for several days, if you can resist snacking on them.)


For the citrus vinaigrette: In a small pot bring the orange juice to a gentle simmer over medium heat and reduce by half, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar and sugar, stirring to dissolve; cool to room temperature.


Using an immersion blender or a whisk, incorporate the canola oil into the juice-vinegar mixture in a slow, steady stream. Season with salt and pepper. Check the flavor balance, adding more oil, vinegar, or sugar. Set aside.


For the Little Gems: Clean the heads and trim off any limp or discolored leaves but leaving the stem end uncut. Cut each head lengthwise in quarters. On a sheet tray arrange the lettuces cut-side up, brush with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.


Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking. (Ad Hoc uses a gas grill with a high flame.) Place the quarters on the grill pan, cut-side down, in a single layer. Grill for about 1 minute, until a light brown char appears. Turn each wedge with tongs (Ad Hoc uses oversized surgical tweezers for precision) to the other cut side and grill about 1 minute more. The lettuce should be branded by the grill pan and lightly wilted, but not completely limp. Repeat with the remaining lettuce, wiping the grill pan thoroughly with a folded, damp cloth between batches.


In a large serving dish arrange the Little Gems, croutons, bacon, radishes, and olives. Whisk together the dressing if it has separated, then drizzle lightly onto the salad. Finish with a sprinkling of salt and serve while just this side of warm with extra dressing on the side.


Skirt Steak Stuffed with Charred Scallions


Serves 6


2 large bunches scallions, trimmed

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Four (10-inch/25 centimeter) skirt steaks (about 8 ounces/227 grams each)

1/2 cup (118 milliliters) garlic confit purée (from the Grilled Little Gems on page 000)

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) canola oil


Heat a grill pan or cast-iron pan over high heat until smoking. (Ad Hoc uses a gas grill with a high flame.) Toss the scallions with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then place in the pan in a single layer. Cook until charred black on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until tender. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly, then cut into 3-inch (7.5 centimeter) lengths (slightly shorter than the width of the skirt steaks).


Lay out the steaks in a single layer. Trim of any excess fat or sinew. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap or waxed paper and, using a meat mallet, lightly pound the steaks to achieve a uniform thickness of about 1/4 inch (65 millimeters). (Each steak should be about 12 to 14 inches/30.5 to 35 centimeters in length after pounding.)


Season both sides of each steak liberally with salt and pepper, then rub one side of every steak with a thin layer of the garlic purée. Lay out the steaks so that they are perpendicular to you. Divide the scallions evenly among the steaks, arranging them in a single layer from bottom to top, like a meat ladder with green rungs.


Roll the steaks tightly into individual bundles. Tie the finished rolls at 11/2-inch intervals with kitchen twine. (If you want to make these ahead, place in a container in a single layer, cover, and store in the refrigerator overnight.)


Heat the oven to 375°F (191°C) and place a wire cooling rack over a sheet pan. In a large sauté pan, heat a generous film of canola oil until almost smoking. Season the outside of the skirt steak rolls with salt. Sear until a brown crust develops, about 2 minutes per side, and then transfer from pan to rack.


Roast the rolls in the oven until medium rare, about 35 minutes. Check one roll by making a small slit with a sharp knife into its center. If the middle of the roll looks very pink (almost raw), continue roasting in increments of 5 minutes. It is better to err on the side of overcooking than under; this helps the rolls hold their shape when sliced. Remove the rolls from the oven; rest for 15 minutes. Snip the twine, slice the rolls into large pinwheels, and serve with Red Fresno Chile–Garlic Sauce (page 000) on the side.

Red Fresno Chile–Garlic Sauce

Yields 11/2 cups (355 milliliters)


16 red Fresno chiles (about 8 ounces/227 grams), stemmed, seeded, and quartered (see recipe header)

8 garlic cloves

1/2 cup (118 milliliters) Champagne vinegar

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon (6 grams) kosher salt, plus additional to taste


For the sweet chili-garlic sauce: Place the chiles and garlic cloves in a small nonreactive container. Cover with the vinegar and sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours.


Strain the liquid from the solids, reserving both separately. Blend the chiles, garlic, and salt along with 3/4 cup (178 milliliters) of the liquid until puréed, about 1 minute. You want the blender to spin freely and the finished sauce to be pourable but not watery. Adjust the liquid and salt if necessary. Dave strains the finished sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, resulting in a much thinner, more refined end product. We prefer to keep ours chunky. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.



Skillet-Glazed King Trumpet Mushrooms


Serves 6


2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil

11/2 pounds (680 grams) king trumpet mushrooms, left whole

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter

1 sprig thyme

1/2 cup (118 milliliters) chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



In a sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and swirl the pan occasionally to lightly brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add the shallot, butter, and thyme and sauté until the shallot is slightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cook to reduce the liquid down to almost nothing, about 3 minutes. Continue to swirl the pan, especially toward the end, to coat the mushrooms with a shiny glaze. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, pluck out the thyme, and serve the mushrooms immediately.


Recipes reprinted with permission from Come In, We’re Closed© 2012 by Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.


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