Thursday, April 30, 2009

April showers don't phase me. I love my Job!

My job in the kitchen that is...It's been a while since I've felt that.

It's been a hectic last couple of weeks. This morning I felt ill. No, I don't have a cold or the flu. I felt sick because I had to call the banquet chef to tell her that I could not make it for my shift due to a crisis in my other job. As I dialed the number, I felt the acid in my stomach creep up into my throat. You see, I had committed to a shift to help out for an event however, the office that I work at during the week had relocated and the move didn't go so smoothly. It was my fault. I should not have agreed to work this shift during moving week. Moves are always hectic and something unplanned almost always happens. I just couldn't resist this shift however. I really do love it. I had called my friend at 8 am to see if she would take my shift. I was desperate not to disappoint but she could not work. Damn it..... So I made the call to cancel and had to speak to my Chef as the Banquet Chef was not in just yet. "If I can, I will come in." That's how I ended it. That's all I had. The anxiety stayed with me all day long. As it turned out, I was 3 minutes late. I made it afterall.

I couldn't imagine a better Thursday night...Shucking oysters and making Kobe beef tartar. (And tasting it too, of course.) Although my body hurts, I feel really good. It's amazing what you can and will endure when you enjoy something. Working seven days a week is not so bad afterall...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm having Fun but I'm Pooped

For the most part I've been working 7 days a week for the last little bit. I have had a random day off once or twice, but honestly...I don't remember them so they don't count. Last week was a crazy one. I am still trying to catch up with some sleep. These days I catch 10 minute snoozes where ever I can. On the bus, in the waiting room at the doctor's office, in the lunch room and uhhh....sometimes at my desk.

On Thursday night I helped the banquet team with a huge event. It was so massive it was even called the 'Massive Party.' So I worked the full day at my office job then rushed over to the gallery to help out. I think everyone and anyone was working that night. It was a party for about 1800 guests. There was an open bar so needless to say, we had to have a significant amount of food for all these drunken folk. The menu consisted of appetizers, of course. There were mini grilled cheese sandwiches made with brioche and white cheddar; jerk chicken roti; spicy shrimp; mini bison burgers; frites with mayo and a spicy pear ketchup; mushroom risotto balls; mini buttermilk crepes with a horseradish sour cream and pickled beets; cuban sandwiches made with roasted pork, avocado and chipotle spread; churros con chocolate; shortbread and dulce de leche cookie sandwiches; and fruit skewers. Everything was so tasty! There were so many people, so much food and not enough wait staff. Apparently, people loved the food so much that they were waiting by the kitchen doors for it to come out. (Either that or they were super drunk and hungry. Maybe both)

I enjoy working banquets. The energy and rush is so much fun. I'm not quite sure what working in a restaurant during service is really like but I'm assuming it's that same sort of adrenaline kick. I love it when I can get in a zone and 4 hours pass by in a flash. There comes a point when your body and instincts take over and everyone around you seems to be going at full speed along with you yet things are running smoothly. I'm beginning to catch on to the lingo - it feels good to understand what's going on :)

I was told to take a break and walk around the party to see what was going on. It was quite a spectacular event. I almost didn't want to since I was having so much fun in the kitchen. Jeff the Chef took me out for a walk. He needed a break too so we went around the different exhibits and saw the chaos that 1800 drunk people can cause.

So that night ended at 2 am. I didn't get home until about a quarter to three and I of course was wired out of my mind.

Friday evening I helped my friend Juanita with 50 mini wedding cakes.

Juanita is a phenomenal cake designer so I was super honoured when she asked me to help her out. We met at George Brown College at a Basic Baking class. Our workstations were side by side however we had different partners. Although my partner was a riot, I would have wanted to work with her. I think we have similar standards when we create. It was a busy night. Who knew those beautiful little pieces of art would take us to 3 am? I can't wait until next time I work with Juanita.