Honey Bunny and I made great use of our President’s Day holiday this week — a visit to the fish market, a three-course lunch at a cute Italian restaurant, and knife shopping. I had been wanting a new chef’s knife for a while now, ever since I knew that I wanted to pursue Kitchen Life as a career. Fish Guy recommended this particular knife shop so I could actually see and feel the products in person. I had already done my research and bookmarked a few I wanted to try (as well as the appropriate pricing). The guy at the shop seemed a bit surprised that I was the one doing the shopping, and even more so when I rejected the 8 inch blade in favor of a 10 inch. I ended up selecting this one. And it’s beautiful.
So I was especially excited for my day in the kitchen today so I could test it out. Everyone complimented me on it — Sous Chef J, Station-mate, Meat Guy, Fish Guy… even Chef! In fact, Chef borrowed it for a fish filleting job he was working on. And it would disappear from my cutting board from time to time as Sous Chef J borrowed it for particular tasks. But no one could love it as much as I did. It sliced through shallots like butter and made the finest ribbons of mint chiffonade I’d ever seen without a single bruise. Love love love.
When I got to the restaurant today, the first thing I did was check the prep list. Five items. Out of literally dozens. That can’t be right. So I ended up spending the first hour setting up our lowboy refrigerators and double-checking the list. Either they had no idea how much mise we would need for the weekend ahead, or they were just lazy, trying to get away with as little work as possible. Anyway, I finally had an accurate prep list and got to work with the help of Sous Chef J. It wasn’t until 1pm that Musician Stage finally showed up.
Oh, and today I learned a really cool way to peel tomatoes. If you toss them into a deep fryer on high heat, they’ll just sit and fizzle for a bit. And then suddenly, POP! POP! POP! The skins will blister and explode. Just pull them, drop into an ice bath, and pluck away the dried bits of skin. SO COOL. It saved me a ton of time while making confit tomatoes today.
Service was forgettable. Chef left around 6pm so Sous Chef J ran the pass, leaving just me and Musician Stage on our station. We did just fine though and kept up with the flow of service. All in all, a good night.
I should name my knife. Station-mate calls his Excalibur. Thoughts?