Christmas in the Kitchen


When I was growing up, I used to nickname my dad the “No Holiday Man.” Whenever I was off from school, especially during the winter, he usually had to work while my mom would generally get federal holidays off. It would be a good year if the holiday happened to fall on his scheduled day off. But what I never understood nor appreciated until this past week was this: it really sucks to have to work when it feels like the rest of the world is having fun and spending time with loved ones. And most importantly, I learned how difficult it is to explain to others that I (and people like my dad) don’t choose to miss out on Christmas Eve or Thanksgiving or other days that should be spent with friends and family.


Anyway, Christmas Eve was crazy busy during dinnertime (we got slammed around 7/7:30pm) and the wave retreated as quickly as it came. The dining room was empty by 9, so some of the guys went to the store to get beer. After our shift, a few of us hung out in the alley drinking Tecate and toasting Feliz Navidad…. Sassy Stage was using it as an excuse to be sociable while also avoiding midnight mass with his family. Ha!


Christmas Day was relaxing. We brought home Peking duck from a nearby Chinese restaurant (doing Christmas like the Jews), played some board games, and “rented” the movie that seems to be challenging our modern definition of free speech — The Interview. It was a stupid-funny Seth Rogen movie, exactly as expected, though wildly racist against North Koreans. Was it worth all the hype? No, not really, but I was glad to have seen it if only to be able to talk about it with everyone else.


On Friday morning, I brought in some Taiwanese beef rolls from, believe it or not, the mall food court, and all of the guys loved it. Chef ate almost a whole roll by himself!


Friday and Saturday were okay, mostly making chicken liver mousses to get my station ready for NYE and to have extra made for the hundreds of wellingtons we’ll be making for NYE as well. The smoked salmon terrine I made on Saturday will be the last one I make at the restaurant and I had to 86 the Henry the 8th board… it’s the end of an era! Meanwhile we still have the smaller charcuterie board but soon we’ll run out of the Terrine of the Day for those too, then duck & walnut and salmon after that, until all I will be making is chicken liver mousse until we close. So sad! On the bright side, most of my menu favorites are staying, and my parents are coming in for date night next week. Excited for them to try my food!

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