Hell Week 2: Time Flies

Yesterday was a noon day, which I usually appreciate on the days that I also have the Late Night shift, making my long day just a bit shorter. However, I knew I had a lot of work to do, so by around 11:20, I was already at my station and ready to go.

It turns out that Station-mate missed the memo; he had been there since 10:30! He was assigned to float, so he started by looking at everyone’s prep lists. When I arrived, I was greeted by his smiling face announcing that he had already started my wine reductions for chicken liver mousse. So nice!

Prep flew by as I knocked out one thing after another. Chicken liver mousse terrines, marinating the next batch of duck pate, assembling a smoked salmon terrine, rendering beef fat for drippings… those were the big projects I had in addition to some smaller jobs like picking chervil for garnish and slicing fresno chilies for deviled eggs. I still managed to make time to help Station-mate with family meal by cooking rice infused with citrus zest to accompany his Asian stir-fry.

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My hard work was rewarded with special snacks throughout the day. First was the gallon jug of Tampico that someone had brought to share. It brought back memories of college when we would buy these colorful juices as mixers for parties since they were only $0.99 a gallon. The blue one was always my favorite, but the orange citrusy one pictured above was good too.

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Service was busier than the past three days combined, though still not terribly hectic. I sold a lot more Restaurant Week plates than we did the week prior, which also meant that Pastry Girl got swamped with tickets for the new special desserts. I gave her a hand while Station-mate covered my station; with some of the ice cream being uncooperative, it was a race to get the finished desserts to the window! While we worked, we had the chance to talk about the kitchen: what my goals are, how long it takes to move from station to station… Pastry Girl had been here for over three years and had a lot of advice to offer, so that was nice. My “workiversary” is coming up in less than a month; it will be one full year since I first stepped into this kitchen to stage. Time flies! Toward the end of the night, Meat Guy brought over an order of the soft-shell crab for us girls to share. I think the guys on the Hot Line were snacking on them and he didn’t want us to miss out.  YUM!

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By 11pm, Pastry Girl got the official notice that she was done for the night (no more tables looking to order dessert). She had one last order of doughnut dough that was getting over-proofed and would otherwise be thrown away so I fried them up for us all to share while she broke down her station. I had to go shuck an order of oysters and when I came back, she had already set it up and made it look extra special. So cute! The extra ramekin on the right is filled with pastry cream that she made for the berry tart, but it’s SO good with the doughnut too.

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Late Night was exceptionally slow tonight. I don’t think we had any tickets aside from those oysters and about 4 or 5 pizzas. It was also my first time working Late Night with Pizza Guy J as my usual partner Sous Chef J has been out of town. He took it upon himself to whip up some fish tacos – simple and delicious. It certainly helped pass the time! By the time I was getting ready to leave, he had also fried himself an order of chicken wings. haha.

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