When going out to eat or attending a banquet, people rarely think about the hard work that is put in to create the wonderful dining experience that they enjoy. The average consumer fails to consider the countless hours of slaving over a stove, dicing hundreds of vegetables, and most of all striving to make sure that every single detail of the experience is perfect. The two most common styles of dining are "A La Carte" and "banquet style" dining. People rarely think about the major differences in the techniques and procedures used to create these two unique but very different dining options. Personally I thought that there wasn't much of a difference between the two until I attended CIA, and furthermore, until I experienced both first hand while working at The Round Hill Country Club. Having one on one exposure to both the A La Carte dining style and the banquet style, I now acknowledge that they are the furthest things from similar. From the menu types, to the service style, and even the equipment used, the differences are outstanding. By definition, A La Carte cooking is a menu having individual dishes listed with separate prices. This is your most typical restaurant experience. Banquet style cooking is structured quite differently. A banquet is an event held by an organization or a person for a specific event where there is a predetermined menu, or food stations set up for self-service. In this essay I will explore these two styles of dining and the differences and similarities between the two.
Having the opportunity to complete my externship at the Round Hill Country Club has really opened my eyes to the world of Banquet style and A La Carte cooking. Every Sunday the club has an A La Carte styled lunch and then a huge Banquet style dinner where it feeds anywhere between 30 and 300 people. Being fully involved in the process to make both of these events occur has truly shown me that although they are similar in a few ways they are actually quite polar to each other.