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After a fun and crazy weekend in Sin City, it was hard not to feel that coming in to the kitchen was like going back to the ol’ grind. The partying and lack of sleep had caught up to us and we spent most of Monday sleeping in, eating, and napping. But just as the thought crept into my head that “Mondays” (well, Tuesdays are my Mondays) must suck for any job, I quickly swatted it away. You gave up a lot to be here, I reminded myself, and this is an incredible opportunity. It isn’t just any job. Make the most of it and most importantly, don’t fuck up. With that internal dialogue, I got my day started.

With no prep list to be seen, I was left to my own devices to figure out what I would need to do today and this week. But first, I had to get set up for service. We were open early for the US vs. Belgium game, and being ready for Happy Hour had to take priority. I’ll be honest though, it became harder and harder to focus as the bar filled with enthusiastic futbol fans shouting and cheering at every play. (I was still feeling World Cup fever too after having caught the Costa Rica vs. Greece game on a huge screen at the sports booking section in one of the casinos!)

Service was slow overall, as expected for a Tuesday. Surprisingly Chef stayed for nearly all of service, declaring the switch to the Late Night menu around 9:30. The last few dinner tickets were mostly Hot-Apps dishes, and when I went to deliver a duplicate copy to Pizza Guy J (who is working Hot-Apps exclusively now!), he asked if I could stay and give him a hand. I ended up sautéing an order of the capellini with lobster bolognaise (pictured above) as he walked me through the process step by step. Luckily he wasn’t TOO busy, just needed an extra body to help get the dishes going. After my first plate went out, another ticket checked in with the same dish. I asked if I could do the honors this time, so I had the opportunity to prepare the dish from start to finish all by myself! YAY! I would be very happy if I could continue to have opportunities like this – to keep working the charcuterie station but still get to learn the hot line little by little.

Did I mention that there was a film crew invading our kitchen on Friday? It was incredibly distracting and even counterproductive at times (like when I needed to use the Vitaprep but couldn’t because it was too loud for their filming). But I signed a waiver and they filmed one or two scenes where Chef would walk over to me, check on my work, and offer suggestions/advice. So keep an eye out for the next new Kitchen Nightmares / Restaurant Rescue type show… I just might be on TV!

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