Alarm clock goes off, time to get out of bed. Uggghh~!@ It’s minus something outside, must be the hardest thing to wake up now.
Finish last sip of coffee and leave home, walk very fast to the metro
12 minutes to get updates about what’s happening out there, on the way.
Reach the restaurant, say hi, change cloth to working outfit.
New delivery of milk, cream, butter, garbage bags, gloves etc., just arrived, making a list of proteins that were delivered with the temperatures. Taking boxes down the basement one by one, then arranging the products in their proper place, making sure the old ones are in the front and the new ones in the back.
Change the laundry bag to an empty one. Discover my box of spinach, take the stems out one by one. Clean the (only) sink and the dishwasher so that it’s possible to use the sink to wash the spinach.
peel something, could be apples, pears, celery..
Morning meeting, have a coffee, chef talking about what has to be done today, everyone taking notes as to what are their jobs. Making shopping list.
Juice 25 lemons with an electric juicer. Somewhere near the 10th half of lemon, fingers start to slide off the peel while pushing real hard, then the lemon falls off and fingers gets hit from the machine. Discover five new cuts on fingers that are now burning from the lemon. Cold, windy, wet, bruised, burning. Juice 12 oranges, eat pulp as breakfast.
Four boxes of leaves waiting for me. Start picking first box. Someone comes over to give an advise about how I should do it better and faster.
Stop everything, go shopping out the streets. Find around ten different things from 5 different stores, carry 10kg of bags back to the restaurant.
Peel and slice 12 shallots/25 onions in the corner of the sink while the smoker grill is smoking in my eyes, the onion making me cry and the wind from outside brushing my neck.
Down to the basement, with my boxes of different leaves. Juicing celery, going back up to wash the parts of the machine, back down to juice carrots, back up to clean the parts, back down.
Handed over 32 portions of fish, 22 bonned quails, 14 pieces of veal, big tray of cubed vegetables, trimmings of any kind. Pack each one individually in the right sized bag with the right seasoning (salt, pepper, oil, thyme, butter..). Sous-vide (vacuum) all the bags one by one each type in different vacuum parameters.
Every pack takes something between 1-1.5 minutes to pack. In between I keep picking the leaves, making a mix of herbs, a small box of mint, coriander, and herbs for chopping.
Cleaning up and arranging the station, taking all the stuff upstairs. Getting some final packing jobs, going back to do these.
Taking out the bins to the street.
Changing clothes again.
Break time. It’s -5 degrees out. Calling Shane to join him everyday in a different place around the area. Starving by now. Have some tea, eat something or hide the fact I’m eating egg sandwich I got from home. Cry about how hard was the passed day, how are all the others holding up, complain about the food served in the place, the expensiveness, the heating which is never enough and/or the chairs are not comfy enough. Break over.
Back to the restaurant, change cloth again, grab the rest of the untreated herbs upstairs.
Pick 4 bunches of chervil, chop bacon, some other small stuff for the mise en place.
Go to the wine bar across the street for the staff dinner. Have a big bowl of pasta with a slice of baguette.
Fill up squeeze bottles, transfer liquids and purees from one container to another. Check that everything’s ready for the service. Warm my fingers over the stove.
Chef enters the kitchen, customers start arriving. The calm before the storm.
Orders are coming. First Foie Gras dish is announced. “Oui Chef!”. I plate the order and send it to the pass. I like this dish because I’m the one doing most of the garniture: compressed apples in celery juice, apple chutney, leaves.. and I get to plate it almost by myself as well.
Starting the plating of the entrees. I help a bit with opening the fish bags, salt, put the celery leaves on top to finish.
Main course starts to be plated. I’m cleaning warm plates, season, help a bit with the different herbs and leaves, carrots.
Last batch of mains is plated. I’m going back to the basement to get the ice-cream ready with the paco machine.
Take the ice-creams back up, the plating of the dessert begins. I have some dishes of cheese I plat. Slicing buffalo Parmesan very fine with a mandoline, dress the plate with the parmesan, the leaves, mambrillo and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I get to help a little bit with the other desserts if I’m lucky.
Orders are done, clean up, get the station ready for the next service. Have a small break.
New customers are coming. The whole service starts all over again.
Last dessert orders are in. Swallow a square of chocolate pudding that was left. Umnomnom. Start to clean the kitchen. Not good enough, do it all over.
Take all the rest of the things downstairs, sous-vide all the left overs of the night for the next day. Make a little bundle of traceability. Clean the sous-vide machine, make sure it’s my last job of the day. Change cloth one more time.
People are still enjoying themselves at the restaurant but I’m leaving, very cold outside but I’m less bothered by that fact. I go to the metro, takes more time to get home at this time of night.
While waiting I check emails, messages, facebook, comments to my posts.
Walk from the metro station back home. Very fast, but it always takes 7 minutes.
Get home, freezing fingers. Very energetic. I know I’m tired but still filled with adrenaline.
A hunger attack! I can’t help it, start a midnight feast. Sometimes I even start cooking a whole new dish that I feel like eating.
Boil eggs for tomorrow’s sandwich. Arrange everything for the next day.
Time for a shower, no time to wash my hair. This is the warmest time of the day. Feels great, until I run out of hot water.
Go to bed, still find it hard to fall asleap.
The alarm clock goes off!!! Another day.