Monday, August 24, 2009

Inventory Day

The reason for yesterday's alarmed request from the Executive Chef that I go in six hours earlier than originally scheduled was that I was needed to do inventory. I am uncertain as to why this was to be done yesterday as we typically do this the last Sunday of each month. Regardless, I have spent, together with one of the Sous-Chefs, over 6 hours counting everything in stock. By everything, I really mean everything. Every container of seasoning, dry herbs and dressing. Every apple, pineapple and bag of carrots and onions. Every bunch of thyme, rosemary, or green onion. Every case of poultry, beef rib, squid (my favourite!) and every can of chickpea, tomato paste, tomato juice and... well, you get the picture.

We moved from the dry storage area by the kitchen, to the walk in cooler, to the portions on the line, to the chest freezer. Then, it was onto the large dry storage area on the main floor. When I thought my eyeballs would start bleeding from trying to find all the items on my 25 sheets of paper so I can enter them, and my stomach would stick to my spine from hunger it was time to take a break. I went to the kitchen and made myself a quick thai chicken soup (with thai broth, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, rice noodles and chicken), asked the line cook on duty to throw down an extra springroll for the order she was firing and wolfed it all down while standing by the saute station. That soup had nice heat, both in spice and temperature, and it was needed as we would move into the walk-in packed floor-to-ceiling freezer where we would spend a good hour. Even though we turned the switch off while we were in there, it was still so bloody cold in there that my toes were starting to feel numb by the end of it.

The mindless counting is now followed by entering the information on the sheets into the computer. A reminder to my readers, this is my first kitchen so I have nothing to compare any of this to, but I am thinking there has got to be a better way to do inventory than for two people to be taken from the kitchen for practically an entire day, once each month.

Since it's a fact that I am not learning many new things every day in this kitchen and some days I am not even engaging in any creative cooking, I need to keep cooking at home. Today, as I am not going in to work until 5 pm (or so I hope!), I will be firing up one of my favourite mains -- chicken scallopini with sauteed rapini and sundried tomato sauce --

and a tasty nibble for midday, a black olive and goat cheese tart.

The entree will be Jen's dinner, I don't want to get into the habit of eating at 4 pm, but I will be sure to sink my teeth into the tart. These were inspired by Anthony Sedlak's The Main and they've been so loved by all my dinner guests that I have started making them regularly and inevitably altered the original recipe over time.

As I am committed to posting daily for at least a year and I anticipate that some days I might not have much to say (or you might be tired and need a break from it), Monday posts will become "wordless Monday". I am also hoping that, in time, I'll get myself a decent camera and that my friend Sonya will teach me a thing or two, so that I can start uploading some better looking pics. I know you agree.

No comments:

Post a Comment