Fancy Clients and Busy Days

This week has been hectic and exhausting. I, and many others, had split days off because every single one of us was scheduled to work on Monday for a buyout for Super Fancy Secret Client. Luckily I got Sunday off since I had the foresight to request Mother’s Day so Honey Bunny and I could spend time with our families. We also started our day with our very first couples massage experience at a local Thai place. That was much needed; cooking professionally puts all sorts of physical strain on your body – tense shoulders, knots in leg muscles, carpal tunnel like symptoms in my sautéing arm…

On Monday I couldn’t bring myself to write because the day just made me stressed out and angry. It was the first time in our restaurant’s history that we handled a 20-course menu for 285 people simultaneously. Plus, it was for Super Fancy Secret Client, so the pressure was on. This meant all hands on deck (cooks, servers, dishwashers) and there were just so many bodies and extra equipment that it made me feel super claustrophobic. Everywhere I turned there was a live or inanimate obstacle in my way, and when I’m running back and forth like a crazy person to get my work done (and with 120 plates per menu item, this was no small task), nothing makes me feel more angry and resentful than watching a bunch of servers hovering around the scraps of food on the dishes brought back to the dish pit, picking at the leftovers like vultures. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, and most of the crew went out to drown their frustrations in soju bombs after work. I opted to mellow out over ramen and beer with Honey Bunny instead and it was perfect.

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The past two nights have been busy for this early in the week – about 200 covers a night plus big parties (35-top last night and 40-top tonight). Tomorrow (Thursday) was supposed to be my second day off but…

One of El Jefe’s R&D chefs is in town and will be teaching a paella workshop in the morning. Chef extended the invitation to all of us but only a few showed interest. I’m excited since paella is a very Spanish dish, and it’s always good to get to know the people at the top of our company food chain. Plus, we’ll get paid for attending! Porque no? I also plan to stay after to make my chicken liver mousse for my pink salt presentation, but then I’ll still have my evening free. Almost like a normal person! So much for my “day off”… haha

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