Yesterday I had a ton of work to do so I decided to come in early to have some time alone in the kitchen. I figured at 10:30am I’d have at least half an hour to myself but it seems that it was a noon day so for the first 1.5 hours, I had full reign of every pot, pan, burner, cutting board, blender, oven… It was awesome and made powering through my extensive prep list that much better.

A quick rundown of my day: two chicken liver mousse terrines, grinding the marinated meat for two boar terrines, cooking them off in prosciutto-lined molds, assembling a salmon terrine, walnut mustard, gribiche… As if my day weren’t busy enough, around 2 o’clock, Chef came over to my station.

Charcuterie Guy decided not to show up today for the second day in a row. He’s been working the fish station but apparently had run out of gas money to drive to work. So we all ended up playing musical chairs with our stations. Chef asked me how long I’d need to finish my prep before I could start getting set up. I asked him for an hour and a half, and he replied, “Good. You’re working Pastry tonight.”

So around 3:30, I scrubbed down both Charcuterie and Pastry, set up both stations, and picked up where Sous Chef J left off with pastry prep — baking ciabatta for table bread, trimming the muffin tops off the sticky toffee puddings, making creme anglaise. Service went off without a hitch, even with a 20-top party and me being by myself on desserts. And Chef seemed pleased to see that I didn’t miss any chicken pot pies or beef wellingtons.

I had Late Night as well, and Sous Chef J let me switch with him so that I would work the hot line and he did the cold line. After flipping some burgers and frying off some chicken wings and fish & chips, I was ready to call it a night. 14 hours is a long time to be at work!

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