Cold Plates for the meeting. Cooks are encouraged to attend to see what the official plating standard is. This goes a long way toward maintaining high standards, and keeping food cost predictable.
Fried Medjool Date, Geai Bleu, Watercress, Orange, Balsamic
Typical discourse and setting.
Macerated Cherries, Smoked Sunchoke Puree,
Oyster King Mushrooms
It's important in many different areas of life to fully open channels of communication. I particularly believe this is the most crucial obstacle to overcome in regard to creating and maintaining a great team at an upscale restaurant.
One way to encourage communication is through education. An important daily experience at Epic is the plate tasting for the servers during the pre-service meeting at 4:45pm.
Usually, one dish is prepared, and the servers will go through the dish with the Chef to find out the details: how it's made, what are the potential allergies associated with the dish, what wines are best suited, where do the ingredients come from, etc...
It's a great idea. It both keeps the cooks on their best form with continual reminders of the standards, and promotes knowledgeable and interested with the servers regarding the products they promote and sell.
It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it really does go a long way toward keeping consistent high standards both in the front and in the kitchen.