Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Night On The Line

As the chef at Tastings you very rarely get a chance to work the line, on a single station very often, especially a Friday or Saturday night.

I arrive in the AM begin to prep proteins, sauces, finish stocks, place my orders, check yesterdays orders in,go to the bakery or the farm in season, write schedules, develop new menus for events that are still weeks away. I might have some time to sit with the chef de cuisine and think about the next seasons menu or call my sources to check on availability or discuss the quality of an item that didn't meet my standards. I'll probably be in the middle of catching up on emails or trying to input my invoices into inventory management when the call comes in that one of the cooks cant make it, oh S%$&! we still need an amuse bouche for the evening, 200 of them!!

But when the opportunity is available to jump on the line on the busiest day of the week, set up & prep your station from start to finish, fold your towels that one particular way you want them (with the folded edge facing away from me), sharpen my knives, and just cook.It reminds me of why I have never wanted to do anything else in my career.

Last night both Matt(Chef de Cuisine) and I did just that, one of the busier Saturday nights we have had in a while, working side by side while our crew took a turn at running the kitchen. What a blast we had. And its great to know and for the crew to know, no matter how long in between working the line on a Saturday night it is for me, I still got it...But believe me when I tell you that my kitchen crew in awesome! Most of them work another job before they get into my kitchen, by the time they are done with breaking down the kitchen have been in the grind for 18 hours. They will go home sleep for a few hours and get up the next day and do it all over again.
I love this job!!!

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