Some part of me was a little surprised yesterday when I got to work and saw my sous chef in the kitchen. I think we all had a few thoughts that he wasn’t going to return from his trip to Florida. But there he was, looking as well rested as he could have been. Thank god, because saute was fun, but our kitchen can’t run with just three people on weekends.
So, after my two days off I took stock of my station which was in a shambles – I hadn’t worked at this station since last Wednesday, so really had no idea what it had in store for me. It took two hours just to prep my station out, which is a considerable amount of time. I could have spent even more time, but some of the things seemed a little unnecessary.
Fortunately for the two of us working last night, our first order didn’t come in until 7:00, an hour and a half after we opened. The cold weather (plus being the day after Memorial Day) kept everyone away, which was great in terms of our kitchen, which needed some TLC.
All the free time we had gave us time to un-’86’ a whole bunch of items and generally just to clean and organize things. And for the first time in quite some time, I was able to sign out at just five minutes past 11.
In terms of my saute experience over the weekend, I’m well rested now, however my wristwatch modeling career is over before it began with a pretty grotesque splatter burn on my left arm.
Friday was alright and I felt like I was able to keep up with things. But Saturday was just horrible (and also when I got burned). Whoever took reservations allowed two large parties (a 16 top and a 20 top) to be seated simultaneously, which just fucked everything up. Saturday also just started off busy – we had about 6 tables sat when we opened and it didn’t slow down from there. I remember being busy from 5:30 until midnight, which is when I got my first break and was able to sit down.
Among my less than happy memories from Saturday was peeling and deveining shrimp to order (great when you’re busy), making paella rice on the fly, and pretty much running out of nearly all my mise en place.
But as bad as I had it the other line cook had it worse. For some reason he wasn’t prepped out properly (which is becoming something of a recurring theme) and just never caught up. There were periods when I would catch up and would have to go bail him out before more tickets were called, just so we could clear the tickets hanging in the window.
By the end of it all my body was just spent and in pain. I ended up hanging around for a while to have some drinks (I felt I earned it on this night) and even the owner provided the other line cook and I with free shots, a sure sign where I work of how bad the night had gone.