Cultivating Ideas

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I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so tired at work today until I realized that my schedule was all messed up this week: worked 5 days, then one day off, work 3 more days, then Christmas Day off, work 2 days, and then finally I’ll get the longest break I’ve had all year: three days off in a row. I definitely took for granted how nice it is to have two days off to recuperate after a week of work, but luckily, Mondays are typically pretty easy and I got one of the FOH guys to make me an espresso.

The great irony of the day, however, was just how many Henry VIII boards were ordered on a day that I’m usually not working. (Six, in case you were wondering.) I guess a lot of people are coming out of the woodwork to partake in our charcuterie one last time before we close, and even a Monday night is no exception.

The coffee kept me all wound up long after I got home so I used this time to further my learning and research about food. Okay, fine, I mostly just sat in bed and thumbed through The Gramercy Tavern cookbook looking at the pretty pictures. But I also jotted down some ideas to add to my journal and even started playing around with menu planning (I may or may not be entertaining the possibility of hosting a pop-up dinner in the near future…). After two hours, my head is still spinning with ideas for dishes, pairing ingredients, cooking methods, even garnishes and plating. This isn’t the first time I’ve conceptualized dishes (sometimes I’d even draw color-coded sketches) but it is the first session where I’ve sat down for the sole purpose of being creative about food and I think that’s a pretty exciting step toward becoming a real “chef.”

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