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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Working, Fixing, and Escaping

There are so many things to share... and I just can't find the time.  So here are a couple of highlights.  We served 2,400 guests over Spring Release Weekend, May, 2nd through the 5th.  We were at these fine wineries, Leonetti, Amavi, Mannina, Five Star, L Ecole, Reininger, and Isenhower.  Thanks for having us. 

We had our friend Zac from Waterdrop Workshop build these truly incredible picnic tables for the sandwich on Colville Street.  The one on the left has been sealed, the one on the right is ready to be sealed.  The patio is up and running.

The sandwich shop and drive through broke records over the Spring Release Weekend.  (Oh we so wish it could be May all 12 months of the year, as do all the other food establishments in Walla Walla.)  Maybe it had something to do with the new patio?

Our home upstairs bathroom decided to dump a bunch of water into the downstairs, through the ceiling drywall.  That was a fun project to fix.

And I got away to Vegas for the ncaa basketball tourney opening weekend.  That was cool.  My personal highlight was eating at Wichcraft, operated by Tom Colichio.  It was alright... for a sandwich.  One or two of their sandwiches may even be decent enough to crack our sandwich line up.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring... Better Than Winter

Words of thanks.  Our favorite part of the job.

Our latest itteration of an anti-pasta platter.

This one client asked us to make a dish with their pork belly.  So we made pancetta.  And then used it in red wine beef ragu. 

Oh man.  Pancetta heaven.  Best version we have ever made.

Hmmm.  7,000 appetizers.  14 hours. 

This is how many people you need to hire to do it.

So this isn't the greatest picture.  But this is one of the greatest apps we have ever made.  A garbanzo flour pancake crostini, slow roasted goat tossed with harissa, topped with an indian salsa verde coleslaw.  Delicious.

Roasted beet and apple salad, endive boat, green goddess dressing, candied cashews.

Buffet dinner at the powerhouse theatre for 55.  Slow roast porchetta styled pork shoulder, roast vegetables, tuscan white bean salad, blanched aspargus lemon and parmesan, spinach salad.  The wine was ok too.

Roast cauliflower, peppers, almonds, garlic, onions, whole parsley.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

We Should Do This More Often

There is just so much we aren't telling you.  Which is a shame.  So to make up for lost time, here are a bunch of photos.  In no particular order.

Summer Is Perfect

Speaking of Perfect... My son and I were there!!!

Apps Somewhere...

Porchetta, pork belly wrapped pork loin,
sooooo delicious.

The entire garden in one salad.  Refreshing.

The whole porchetta before slicing, for a wedding at Basel Cellars.

Wine dinner at Abeja.  Tucannon Meats bone marrow, white bean salad.

When you cook well in our kitchen, you are a... BoomKing.


Tucannon Meats new york strip loin for a dinner at Amavi Cellars.  The finest cut of meat in WW, without question.

Shrimp bisque, barely any cream, blanched mussels, crawfish tails, seared shrimp, holy trinity, for a Fat Tuesday winery dinner.

Three years after opening... we got a sign.

New Years Eve project, building the hood for the sandwich shop.

Deviled egg mousse on brioche toasts.  

Every so often we cook dinner at home... and actually try.  Tucannon Meats short ribs waiting for the liquid to braise. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Drive Thru Turns One!!!

January 2012 we had a little Christmas Party in the catering kitchen for the major stakeholders in the business. The chef, managers, owners, and spouses. We had just decided to open GRAZE - 'a drive thru'. Needless to say, all of us were a little worried. Little risks can sometimes turn into big losses and have serious consequences.
To lighten the mood we played a little game. We each made a prediction on how well the drive thru would do. Average daily sales... and whether the concept would work or we would have to close. One third of our group predicted failure... closure within the one year lease. It was morbidly fun.
March 1st 2012 we opened with as much fanfare as possible. Emails to you gentle sandwich readers, newspaper plugs and advertisements, and facebook posts. Even a big sandwich board proclaiming "Breakfast Panini and Coffee in 3 Min or Less!!!". Day 1 thru 4 sales were $260, $164, $261, $181... Honestly, failure seemed certain. It was so dead (fancy restaurant term for slow).
And then little by little, sales grew. Pretty soon we weren't losing money. After a while we even made a dollar or two. And nowadays the drive thru seems to be doing alright. We won't be buying a helicopter anytime soon, but going out of business seems a much lower proposition these days. (My wife and I know lots of folks, it is WW after all... and for a good six months everybody asked "how is the drive thru doing?"... with grave and serious looks on their faces.)
Something seemed to happen this Fall that kind of made the Drive Thru work. We aren't really sure what it was. Maybe it was the radio adverts on the christmas station, or the free kids meals, or the newspaper ads "It's Like FAST FOOD without the CRAP in it". Or maybe we just figured out how to do what we do a little bit better and more efficient. It could have been the horsemeat scandal in Europe, or the pink slime publicity in the US. Oh, who knows, and who cares. We are just thankful the whole thing seems to be working alright... knock on wood.
We cook honest food. We like what we make. We eat it everyday. We hope you do to.
(Cupcakes with every order Friday, March 1st, random giveaways of gift certificates, $5.50 grilled cheese and chips or salad... shhhh, it's like a drive thru secret)
GRAZE - 'a place to eat' 509-522-9991
GRAZE - 'a drive thru' 509-540-1261
Mon - Sat 10am - 7:30pm
Sunday 10am - 3:30pm, home for family dinner

Friday, January 4, 2013

Graze Index

(This piece of self indulgence has turned into a bit of tradition for me, so please forgive any overly sentimental chatter.) 

Cooking for a living is not the easy life Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri make it out to be.  It just isn't.  But there is nothing we would rather do.  Another fun year with lots of great food, cool stories, and fun experiences.  Let's hope we get to cook more goats/lambs/pigs in 2013!!!

In honor of 2012, I present you with the Graze Catering Index (with apologies to Harper's Index). All totals are Graze Catering only, and do not reflect numbers from Graze 'a place to eat', our sandwich shop, or Graze - 'a drive thru' our drive thru only sandwich shop.

Guests served in 2006 --- 604
Guests served in 2007 --- 3,319
Guests served in 2008 --- 8,053
Guests served in 2009 --- 12,166
Guests served in 2010 --- 15,468
Guests served in 2011 --- 18,771
Guests served in 2012 --- 20,875

Number of events 2006 --- 17
Number of events 2007 --- 66
Number of events 2008 --- 83
Number of events 2009 --- 176
Number of events 2010 --- 194
Number of events 2011 --- 216
Number of events 2012 --- 224

Number of events 150+ guests 2006 --- 0
Number of events 150+ guests 2007 --- 2
Number of events 150+ guests 2008 --- 11
Number of events 150+ guests 2009 --- 16
Number of events 150+ guests 2010 --- 26
Number of events 150+ guests 2011 --- 39
Number of events 150+ guests 2012 --- 42

Number of weddings/rehearsals 2006 --- 0
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2007 --- 6
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2008 --- 18
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2009 --- 22
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2010 --- 22
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2011 --- 31
Number of weddings/rehearsals 2012 --- 27

2010: Sandwiches/Full Salads served by Graze - 'a place to eat'
(dine in, delivery, and pick up) --- 29,619.
2011; Sandwiches/Full Salads served by Graze - 'a place to eat'
(dine in, delivery, and pick up) --- 43,609
2012: Sandwiches/Full Salads served by Graze - 'a place to eat'
AND Graze - 'a drive thru' (dine in, delivery, and pick up)
--- 66,197

**** Look out McDonalds!!!

We love what we do, we like serving people, we like making events better because we are there, we like cooking different things every event, we like seeing guests smile. We are pretty good at what we do. We hope you hire us.

Thanks to all our past and future clients and guests. We look forward to serving you again.