Overheard in the Kitchen: I’m Going Down!

A Cross-Section View of the Chicken Liver Mousse Terrine

A Cross-Section View of the Chicken Liver Mousse Terrine

Today was filled with hilarious interactions and conversations so I’m going to do my best to retell the stories (they may well end up being the kind of stories where you just “had to be there” but I promise to try to provide context.

First, I was working in the walk-in to painstakingly butter a chicken liver mousse terrine when I accidentally dropped the pint cup i had been using to scrape chicken mousse off the plastic buttering card. Thinking I was alone, I let out a startled (and probably squeaky) “Oh no!” and when I turned around to pick it up, I found myself face to face with Chef himself, hands on his hips, chuckling as he shook his head. Of course, of all the people who could have caught me in that moment, it just HAD to be Chef.

Service started off with a not-so-happy happy hour. I think we had 2 tickets in the first 40 minutes – so slow! But then dinner really picked up. I got into the flow of the rush – sending out my terrines at lightning speed, helping out the boys on Pantry (it’s more fun making those salads when it’s just a once in a while thing), and hopping over to Hot Apps. I heard Singing Hot-Apps Guy shout out, “If I don’t get some help right now, I WILL go down!” I answered the call and he seemed relieved to have an extra pair of hands help with his eight tickets all simultaneously on fire. He and I work well together. I plated dishes, walked orders to the window, refilled his mise en place with trays of pasta from the walk-in, and perhaps most importantly, was there to listen as he talked through the tasks at hand and got himself straightened out. Then Sous Chef S came over to bail him out so I could get back to charcuterie. I later learned that we ALL heard his cries of “Oh no, I’m going down!!!” and we all had a good laugh in retrospect.

Speaking of Singing Hot-Apps Guy… a little character development: he lives in a local trendy neighborhood with his Instagram-famous girlfriend, sports a mustache/beard with or without Movember, wears highlighter colored t-shirts and plastic neon stunner shades (“ironically” of course), and scoffs at coffee that is not fair trade, organic, etc in favor of the brew he brings from home in a mason jar that was either Etsy-purchased or Pinterest-inspired. He is a nice guy but I love to tease him about how hipster he is. Today he was telling us about how he’s getting a new bike (he was recently in a motorist accident that landed him in the hospital – though he still showed up for work the next day, bruises and all!). His bicycle was totaled and he said today that he must get a new one because “that’s his thing.” Pastry Girl made the first comment about his hipster-ness and I remarked, “So, if I were to throw your mason jar mug out the window, that would just be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it?” Pastry Girl almost fell over laughing and Singing Hot-Apps Guy chuckled heartily at the friendly jab.

Back to my brief comment about working together well, “flow” in the kitchen is incredibly important, especially when working in close quarters with a partner. You really need to be self aware and to anticipate what your partner will do next, where he/she will need to stand or walk, what drawer he/she would need to open, etc. Fumbling around and being in the way just leads to disaster. Apparently it’s hard to find someone you “jive” with and when you do, you find that you always want to work with them. This makes me strive to be someone who is easy to work with by working clean, being efficient and systematic, keeping a well-organized mise, staying calm under pressure, and recognizing and anticipating the needs of others.

Anyway, just some thoughts and musings from today.

PS: We had a great ticket come in today. “Mushroom Pizza — NO MUSHROOMS.” WTF.

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