It’s been almost a month now since I started my work term. Time has flown by and I have been having a blast.
With the weather slowly improving, the number of reservations is growing, the pace of the kitchen quickening.
I’m working the evening shift right now, which means my day starts at 2 p.m. and finishes anytime between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. During that time, I help finish up lunch service, handle any final prep for the evening and, if time permits, the following morning. All the while anticipation builds for the ensuing evening.
Every now and then I steal a moment for myself, taking a seat on an overturned milk crate, taking in the din of the air conditioning unit and the view of the dumpster across the staff parking lot whilst enjoying a cup of hot, albeit stale coffee. In it’s own rugged way, it’s blissful.
This past week was especially exciting: I had the chance to work the line alongside the executive chef. We were slammed, and he jumped in to help us push out a table for 20. I did my best to keep my cool, tending to the pickerel I was pan frying, steaks I was grilling and vegetables I was running to and from the steamer. It was intense, what with my chef keeping one eye on me, my methods and my timing. I managed okay.
Of course, what’s most extraordinary about times like those is how everyone, no matter their skill level, background, or depth of experience, pulls together, puts egos aside, and works like a cohesive team to get ‘er done.
And we did.
So far, so good.