Cruel Summer in May

Wild Boar Terrine, Dried Cherries, Harissa

Wild Boar Terrine, Dried Cherries, Harissa

Bananarama’s 1983 hit Cruel Summer has been our anthem for the past several days now. And today, it seemed some of the refrigeration units (and the cooling fans?) were not cooperating so the repair guy had to come out and fix it. I also learned that it was a late start day with everyone else trickling in around noon. Luckily, this gave me much-welcomed alone time in the kitchen and it gave me a head start on my prep so I could claim all of the needed equipment and even an oven before the rest of them came in. Woooo!

The heat felt especially miserable during my two-hour salmon terrine building marathon. I rewarded myself afterward with a nice, cold orange from the back fridge. Everyone was on edge and a bit cranky, and it didn’t help once service started because all of the stoves were on full-blast, further intensifying the heat. Sous Chef J whipped up some more of his now-famous citrus water for some much needed refreshment.

Service was busy tonight, though not as bad as yesterday was (for me anyway). There was a point when Pantry’s board was completely filled with tickets so I stepped in and helped dig them out of the weeds. Two tickets in a row with a dozen oysters each put one of the boys out of commission shucking away, so Musician Stage and I pushed through the rest of the dishes. After plating a few salads and helping them wrap up a few tickets, I went back to my station to do an a la carte terrine. Chef shouted over, “Don’t worry about your dishes yet, just go in the line.” (That is, do the tickets in the order they were received.) Then he glanced down at his board and followed up, “Oh wait… you ARE going in order. Never mind. Carry on.” He chuckled and let me continue what I was doing; I think he felt a sense of relief that I had a handle on what was going on with both stations. I hope to have more moments like that, to show him that I am capable, so that perhaps someday I could become one of his sous chefs. But I’m getting ahead of myself. One step at a time.

If this is how it feels in May, how the heck are we going to handle summer?

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