Tools of the Trade

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Today I finally updated my knife kit to take out the items I no longer use on a daily basis and replace them with some new goodies I just got off amazon. (I wanted to order from JB Prince but the shipping was cost-prohibitive.) The process made me more emotional than I expected because it also felt like letting go of the “old days” at the other restaurant.

Out went my gnocchi paddle, carving (pasta) fork, extra brushes, and the wooden knife guard that Chef had given me. In went a pair of 10-inch straight tweezers, locking tongs, kunz spoons, and, my new favorite, a pair of offset tweezers for plating (pictured above). At the old restaurant, we all used to carry spoons with us in our apron pockets, but since this place is more fancy and has plastic disposable tasting spoons, the norm is to carry tweezers. They do come in handy for delicate plating and grabbing things that you wouldn’t want to touch with your bare hands. Plus, they tuck right into your chef’s coat so conveniently!

Today started off fairly slow and everyone wandered around floating on other stations depending on who was busy at the time. At one point I ended up on grill, firing flank steaks and plating up quail, before moseying over to sauté to help with the roasted piquillo peppers. My station partner did the same and when a few tickets came on for us, I made my way back. Then it was my turn to be on the other side, where people would come over to my station asking me to teach them how to make and plate our dishes. It was a great collaborative learning experience! I also felt a bit better about my skill level and performance because it turns out some of the others were relatively new or inexperienced. Some had made their way through many stations while others were still learning their first. One guy I spoke with on Cold Station had worked in other restaurants but still never made it to the Hot Line. I was making torchons of truffle butter during service and it turns out that the practice I got at the old restaurant really came in handy because I made them in record time. Even the sous chefs were impressed by how quickly I finished these.

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I still remember how much Station Lead used to make fun of me for how long I’d spend in the walk-in making the tuna tartare torchons, and how excited I was when Charcuterie Guy taught me an easy trick using The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Anyway, I got through my only closing shift this week so tomorrow should be relatively easy. I’m also looking forward to the weekend so I can spend time with Honey Bunny on Sunday and start a new yoga class on Monday! (I bought a Groupon for a month of unlimited classes to motivate myself to get out of the house and work out in the mornings.) Cheers!

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