Corner Time

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Tuesday was so terribly slow that it wasn’t even worth mentioning. Chef called it a night at 9pm, which meant I got to go home early and spend extra time with Honey Bunny (we went out for a late-night dinner at a local 50s diner).

The shocking thing was that at the end of the night, we asked how many were on the books and the number was literally 0. ZERO. I had never seen that before and it makes us all anxious to see the restaurant this slow.

Yesterday (Wednesday) seemed to drag on from our arrival at noon until I finally went home at midnight after my Late Night shift. Chef didn’t want to place an order from our meat purveyor so I struck chicken mousse off my prep list for lack of livers. I was done by 2:30 and probably could have finished sooner if I hadn’t been pacing myself. So I offered my assistance to Pizza Guy J who was working alone on Hot-Apps.

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I started with slicing apples and trimming them with a set of cookie cutters; they were then poached in white wine and aromatics for the pork shank ravioli dish. Then I took on one of the more mindless and menial tasks – making lemon ties for fish & chips. This is what a “tied” lemon looks like:

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Though I was trying to keep myself busy to avoid it, I ended up biting the bullet and making family meal. There was no protein available, so even our typical variations of chicken and rice were out of the question. I decided to make pasta in a bacon & tomato sauce, tossed with arugula at the end. It was the best way I could think of to stretch a small amount of meat while still being hearty. It’s nothing fancy, but I like to make it when we have friends coming over and know that we’re going to get super drunk!

After a not-so-happy happy hour, there were so few tickets with charcuterie items that I was able to spend most of the night in the corner working with Pizza Guy J on Hot-Apps. It was a great learning opportunity, especially since it was a slow night. I did everything at least once – fish & chips, lobster capellini, prosciutto bolognese, pork ravioli, gnocchi… since Hot-Apps is closest to the fryer, we would frequently be asked to fry garnishes for Meat/Chef and provide side orders of fries to accompany the happy hour burgers. Definitely a two-person job, so even though it wasn’t busy by any means, I still had plenty to do.

I’m sure Chef noticed my decision to be proactive and try working in the “corner” (that’s what we call the Hot-Apps part of the Hot Line), though he didn’t say anything to me one way or the other. Meat Guy, however, did give me a pat on the back for 1) stepping in to help Pizza Guy J and 2) doing what it takes to get Chef to put me on the Hot Line.

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Inspired, I helped out with two burger orders and some chicken wings during Late Night since it was just me and Sous Chef J (who had filled in on Pizza for the day). This meant that I had to confront my fear of the 550 degree oven on the Meat station which had previously given me a gnarly burn on my left arm. Even Sous Chef J was surprised and hadn’t realized that the first burger ticket was sitting on the ticket printer.

All in all, I’d say it was a good day for me. :)

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