Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cookin No. 41 - A year Sabbatical Ends

Well, it has been a long time, a year actually. I apologize for the lack of posts on my behalf, I am sure that you are all know about how life can get very hectic and cluttered at times. So what happened in that year sabbatical that I took?

I graduated from school with flying colors, and landed myself a job at a local restaurant called Sweet Basil, I am only a pantry wentch, which means that I do appetizers, salads, and some hot entrees. I still work part time at Wegmans also, though having two jobs is starting to wear me down. I enjoy working at the restaurant though. I have learned so much, and I feel like I can finally call myself a professional cook.

See, school was just about accumulating knowledge, processing it, and applying it. Besides, you get out of it what you put into it. I honestly didn’t know how much more there was to learn though. At the restaurant, I learned tricks, how to make things cook a bit faster, how to move fast and work efficiently during a busy rush, how to deal with the weeds and how to get out of them. Restaurants are different beasts all together; you have to work well with your coworkers, because otherwise it could all go up in smoke.

I am one person in a three man team. When I first started, the restaurant was still quite new, so we really weren’t that busy. It was good for me to get myself ready for the holidays. That was where we really got kicked around. Suddenly business boomed, and instead of doing a nice service of 80 people, we were doing 120 in three hours! We thought that things would slow down after new years, but we are staying pretty consistent doing 100 and more people on Friday and Saturday nights, which is really good for a tiny restaurant in the middle of cornfields.

My boss, Chris, went to school at the cordon bleu in Pittsburg, so his background is very classic French. He has been in the industry for quite a while, and really has taught me a lot. He’s a good guy too, which I feel fortunate to have my first boss be so nice. He is quick to flare up though, but I learned to just ignore him, and keep doing what I’m doing. Because if I listen to him, I can get sucked into the irate mood and things fall apart. I don’t like being upset, so I try to just smile and whistle a good tune. It doesn’t always work out that way though. But at least I try.

The souse chef, Danny, graduated from the same school at me, six months before I did. So I actually knew him, he’s a good kid and I have enjoyed getting to know him. We have a lot of fun joking around, and all the sorts of things that happen behind the scenes.

Speaking of behind the scenes, what they say about the happenings in restaurants is true. Just read Anthony Bordane’s, a Kitchen Confidential, and I need not say any more about what its like to work in a kitchen. At first it was a bit of a culture shock, but I have grown accustomed to it. I just keep whistling while I work ;).

Well, this is a short entry, but I just wanted to give you a quick hello, and to let you all know that I intend to come back with more. More about the kitchen, and more about all that I’m learning.

Until then, keep whistling and enjoying food.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

good to see you're still "bloggin", my dear.


5:04 PM  

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