Day 1

01Jun09

Last night was my first official night working (read: paid) at The Restaurant, which is what we’ll call it from now on.

I walked in the kitchen during the end of brunch service as the morning shift was busy plating the final brunch dishes for that day. As I started to grin like a giddy school girl, excited for my first day on the job, I was met with stern and tired nods, which signaled my girlish excitement to instantly retract and to nod back with a cool disposition. I put on my jacket, black pants, and crocs. I tied my apron around my waist, and grabbed some dish towels- two to hang on my apron string and two to use during service to grab pots and wipe my station clean. I walked over to the hot appetizer station, the station I’ve been shadowing during my externship. I found my prep list, a check-list of all the ingredients that need to be prepped before dinner service started at 6 PM. This would be the first time I ran the entire hot appetizer station from start (prep) to finish (taking apart the grills and wiping down the entire kitchen).

We would only have about 40 covers that night, and the list of things to do was minimal. Which meant the perfect pace for me. The next 4 hours were spent getting acquainted with the walk-in refrigerators and low-boys (the refrigerators under the prep counters) and figuring out what needed to be re-stocked or made from scratch.

During service, I had the chance to take things slow and re-introduce myself to the dishes that were part of my station. I also got re-introduced to the co-worker who likes to keep me on my toes by making smart ass comments and pointing out everything I fuck up. He’s a prime example of how kindergarten logic is the working logic inside of a restaurant kitchen: the more someone likes you, the more they’re going to harass you. This translates to a lot of pent up frustration, but I can’t argue against it because he has helped me realize what it means to be a professional cook, technically and philosophically. He questions my abilities and challenges me to be better. Specifically, he questions my ability to read tickets properly and challenges me to not burn food.

Wherever you work, we can all get behind those “happy” hours after a good hard day’s work where we drink and vent about life and its shortcomings. We capped off the night with a few beers and shared stories at a lonely bar down the street like it was our Saturday night. While everyone else probably thought the night was uneventful or commonplace, I couldn’t help but secretly grin inside and get excited to be over-worked, under-paid, but “living the dream.” I realize I’m being completely ridiculous and romanticizing the situation. But it’s my first day, and I can be a giddy school girl if I want to.

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6 Responses to “Day 1”

  1. 1 Foxy

    I’m grinning for you!

  2. 2 Shirley Kan

    Amy.. I’m so envious of you.. you LOVE what you do. I got excited just reading your post 🙂

  3. 3 Lindsey

    Ah dude, you just made me so happy reading this! Yay!

  4. 4 ken

    congrats amy! livin the dream! fuck money! can’t wait to see u this summer! aaahhhh!!!

  5. 5 Carlo

    So awesome, congrats on liking ur job. Can u stand the heat?

  6. 6 smelly

    HUGE amounts of happy energy radiate from the post. Do you think you might be able to sneak a camera inside to snap pictures of your new hood and your new gang?


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