Thursday, September 17, 2009

If You're Looking for Karma, She Was In Our Kitchen Today.

Cooking rice, cutting fruit, cleaning romaine hearts and slicing peppers into julienne strips were the only things written on the M.E.P board when I got to work today. I don't have to tell you that it took us under two hours to get it all done, even with the interruptions of cooking staff meals every now and then. We were now in a position to prep ahead, which we did, and clean, which we also did.

A few minutes before 5 pm we had a two-top order pizzas and we snickered at how overwhelmed we were by this order, how we might just have to call in someone from upstairs to help us. In our boredom induced near-comatose state we didn't read the early order as a sign of things to come. We should have. Having diners in before 5 pm usually signals dinner service would be busy. Today we shrugged at the early order, chuckled at how easy the night is going to be, and karma got us good. We got blindsided. Around 6:30 pm the dining room was full of guests who I am convinced talked to each other out there on the course, synchronized their watches and decided to all descend upon us at exactly the same time! Luckily, one of the banquet kitchen girls would stop by to check on us just before clocking out and she ended up staying an extra hour to give the saute/grill/saucier guy a hand!

We are starting to cut down on both kitchen staff and front of house staff (servers) so there were only three people on line tonight, plus the kitchen help, a newly hired 25 year-old Dominican girl. On my station we were fine as there were two of us. The hot side would be handled tonight only by our Chef de Partie, a short-tempered Jamaican guy who can crank out food pretty fast but has a tendency to throw pans around and gets angry rather easily. Once he got some help and managed to avoid getting in the weeds we were all fine. The rush would be over as suddenly as it started. It didn't just taper off, it simply stopped.

As for my wounded finger, I only went through three bandaids and finger cots today. Promising!

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