Last night’s dinner service was an absolute shitshow.
So Cold Station has two sub-stations: Cold 1 and Cold 2. Cold 1 does more volume – easy to plate, small bites. There are only 5 dishes, 3 of which are big sellers: the eel taco, jicama-wrapped guacamole, and tuna ceviche. Cold 2 has the more intricate dishes with a bazillion elements – eight dishes including beet salad, white asparagus, gazpacho, apple & fennel… each with 10-15 components and require finesse and a delicate hand.
Usually, a new person will start on Cold 1, trained by the previous newcomer, while the two most senior cooks transition to Cold 2. However, with the station rotations, the most senior person on Cold got moved to Fry and the second in line is out of commission after having cut his hand on the slicer. Thankfully, the third one had spent at least a handful of days observing Cold 2, knew what the dishes looked like and consisted of, and had some idea of the prep. Ideally she would have been trained by the guy who injured himself, while I started on Cold 1 getting trained by the former-newest guy.
So on Thursday, the chefs expected it to be a slow night and would have made cuts anyway, so we didn’t get an extra pair of hands to replace the injured guy. We ended up doing nearly 200 covers and I also ended up closing both stations by myself. Still, we survived.
Yesterday, however, a cook who had left a few months ago to go travel and work in Spain just came back. Since he was an extra pair of hands, I got to have him to help me open Cold. This is when things got kinda chaotic. Cold 2 had changed so much since he left that he felt more comfortable working Cold 1. Without anyone to properly train me/us and not having a clue on how to prep a lot of the items on either station, I thought it would be best for him to take Cold 1 while I figured out Cold 2.
It all went somewhat decently until the middle of service when we started running out of literally everything and I had to scramble to make things on the fly. We even ran out of things like gazpacho which needs to be marinated overnight. I had to run around gathering ingredients for something I’d never made, blend it as fast as humanly possible and send out an order for a ticket we already had on the board.
We were running 20-30 minute ticket times which really frustrated me because this is the freaking salad station. Even when I was deep in the weeds on the Hot Line, I NEVER ran a 30 minute ticket. The chefs understood because it was practically my first day on the station and my partner’s 4th (and she’s only worked with us for less than a month). At some point though, I told myself to keep going, do your best, and JUST DON’T CRY.
Survived to 11:30pm and then went home to drink heavily. (Just kidding, I stress-ate an order of McNuggets instead.) Praying tonight will be better.