Arte et Labore


So quick restaurant updates: on Wednesday I was scheduled to work Pastry which meant a long night for me waiting for the last dinner table to order desserts. On the bright side, we’ve brought back our old style of doughnut, with bourbon glaze and orange curd. Yum! Too bad the pickup involves grabbing fried dough out of 350 degree oil and swirling it in molten hot sugar. With your bare hands.

Today I made the first batch of chicken liver mousse terrines that contain 50-50 chicken liver to foie gras in what must be over 2 years, since before the ban. The ultra decadent pate even set differently as it cooked, just due to the sheer fat content. (Mo’ fat, mo’ jiggle.) It was at Chef’s request and I’m so excited to taste it. Be still my heart.

Okay, now for the exciting news. Last week I stayed up til 2am updating my resume and applying for a position at one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants owned by a James Beard Award winning chef. Well, today I got a phone call from a sous chef inviting me in for an interview! I am coming in on Monday and can’t wait to see how this plays out.

Meat Guy told me to make sure I do my research about the chef; apparently otherwise-qualified people have missed out on offers because of their lack of familiarity of the chef and his style. I decided to look up the Chef du Cuisine as well who is, coincidentally, a woman!
One of her bios mentioned a quote she remembers from one of her first culinary mentors. And it got me to thinking about what I’d say about Chef if/when I make it so big that online magazines start interviewing me for bios like that. Sure he has his cliché favorites like “Do it right or do it twice” and “If you have time to lean you have time to clean,” but I think the one I will carry with me is “Arte et Labore” which is Latin for “by skill and by hard work.” Sure it’s also the motto of a British soccer club (Blackburn Rovers, or for fans of The Beatles, “I read the news today, oh boy / 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire”) but it’s also a brief yet inspiring message. Funny, I always thought he was a Manchester United fan through and through.

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