Happy 2016, everyone! (shush – I know I’m… 29 days late… man, has this year already been flying by!)
A few brief updates to catch up from where we last left off. One of the sad realities of working in the kitchen is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to be working holidays. It sucks. They say you get used to it, and every year you convince yourself that you’re OK with it and that it just comes with the territory. But then your family starts asking when you’re free to celebrate over dinner. And you see your friends posting pictures and meaningful statuses all over Facebook. And you think about your poor SO who’s trying to scramble together plans with friends or has just accepted that he’s going to be alone on a day meant to be shared with loved ones. I’ll say it again – it sucks.
Christmas Eve was the worst. Somehow the reservationist screwed up or the servers couldn’t turn tables fast enough or something but come 9 o’clock, we were apparently an hour behind on reservations. (That meant the people who made 8pm ressies were just now sitting down.) We were supposed to close early, at 9:45pm, but ended up in a whirlwind of miscommunication… I didn’t leave until 11:30pm. New Year’s Eve was much better. We had a buyout format and basically held a buffet-style party of champagne and caviar for the rich and famous to ring in the new year. We put out the last bits of food at 11:15, did a super quick champagne toast in the satellite kitchen, and then bolted out the door to ring in the new year with our friends and family. I was home in time to watch a documentary on sriracha with Honey Bunny over a quick late night dinner and got to kiss him at midnight. Luckily the restaurant was closed on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so we got to spend some time together and be festive.
All this time, however, I had been scouring Craigslist and other job sites for new opportunities and coming up empty. I didn’t want to just be a line cook at a different restaurant (as they say – same shit, different day), I didn’t want to go back to a boring office job, and I couldn’t land a Sous position because they all seemed to somehow require 2-3 years of Sous experience. It felt like I was in college again trying to score that first internship that didn’t require previous work experience.
As soon as the new year hit, I received an unexpected surprise in my inbox. A recruiter had found my profile on LinkedIn and thought I would be perfect for a Junior Sous position with their company. It’s a large fast-casual restaurant group, so I replied to ask for more information. After two successful phone interviews, I was invited in for an in-person interview and tasting. I had never done a tasting before and I was so nervous. They asked me to present a soup, salad, and entree. Honey Bunny, bless his supportive heart, suggested that I invite friends over the night before so I could experiment with my recipes on them. It was nice to practice my dishes (and I always love an excuse for a dinner party), and I was able to confidently execute my menu the next day.
This was all earlier this month and I had been keeping hush about it so I don’t jinx anything. But just today, I received the official offer letter. Guys, this is happening. About 2.5 years after I first set foot in a professional kitchen, I’m about to become a Junior Sous Chef.