Hello, friends! Not much excitement over here other than finally getting the hang of my new station. It’s been tough without the ticket monitor on our station functioning properly, although it did magically resume working on Friday and lasted the whole night… until one of the cooks turned it off. It never turned back on and my station partner and I wanted to kick his ass for it.
On the bright side, even though I feel like I’ve been struggling a bit, I am still getting a lot of positive feedback from the sous chefs. The one who runs the Expensive Private Dining Room (whose work area is right next to my old station) said he missed me and wants me to come back because he doesn’t like how the boys over there run things. The sous chef who is most senior and seems to be Chef’s right hand man is always glad to see me working on my new station. “It’s so much cleaner with you over here!” he says. And since we’ve been completely verbal on our tickets, I think I’ve impressed him with my ability to remember, keep track of, and execute the dishes. I believe the words he used were, “I trust you” along with the mutual respect that comes with having the experience of working in a “traditional” “old school” kitchen without the fancy computer screens.
In case I’ve lost anyone with the phrase “verbal fire” or “verbal tickets,” imagine any episode of a show like Hell’s Kitchen. The chef just shouts out the orders one after the other, “Checking in: one scallop, one risotto, followed by one lamb, one welli” and the cooks pause from whatever they’re doing to reply “Heard” or “Yes, Chef”. One table is easy enough to keep track of, but then another table walks in… “Fire two scallops.” Now you’ve got three all day and he’ll want to know how much time you need for the first one (or the next two, or if you’ll send all three at the same time). You should be producing top quality dishes every time and rest assured, more tickets will be coming in throughout the night.
Keep in mind that I’m juggling this for eight dishes on our station, two of which require communicating with other stations, and we did 400+ covers on Saturday night. On more than one occasion, I overheard a guy over on the Cold Line wondering out loud, “How the hell do you keep track of all that?!”
This station has really put me to the test but I think I’m rising to the challenge and earning respect from my peers. I didn’t realize it at first but Plancha 2 is like the Fish Station in our kitchen. That means that in under 2 years in the industry, I’ve not only made it onto the Hot Line, I have worked my way up to Fish. That’s pretty badass if I do say so myself. :)