The past two weeks in the restaurant have been interesting. Beginning of the spring brought with it some major cocktail events that the reception kitchen (that would be us!) had to deal with, and still this week more coming. Looks like everyday has some small tasks to be done and one or two longer tasks to handle. Every time I finish one task I go to one of the Chefs responsible for me and ask: “C’est fait. Et apres?” (It’s done, and after?), this is just the case if he did not beat me to it and declared before head what’s apres.
Doing long repetitive tasks like that can be tricky sometimes. I found there’s an addiction effect that kicks in somewhere in the middle, after around 30 minutes of work. The task is “doing itself” and at the same time as I wish it would end as soon as possible, I also wish it will go on forever. This is like a mental acceptance to the current being, questioning the worthiness of switching tasks. It’s like when a body is brought to a constant velocity it can theoretically go on forever if nothing’s on its way. This is why the feeling in the end of a long task is a bit sad, now a new task has to be started. I think it’s just these too long things that cause this problem. If one’s doing many smaller tasks or even multitasking, he’s kept more sharp and aware of the next things to do, makes it easier to switch. For instance: in the juice day I have to make various juices, clean the machine between each of them, it’s very energetic. The tomatoes day though… is different:
A hard aspect of the beginning in a new place is not knowing what’s the purpose of everything I do. I do ask sometimes but it takes a while, days even, to find out how these things will eventually evolve as a dish.
The frustrations: sometimes although I keep asking if it’s alright, in the end I’m told it’s not good enough and I have to re-plate hundreds of Amuse bouche.
Misunderstanding directions can also cause frustrations like I already mentioned before. There’s the “big boss” Chef of the restaurant, which I rarely in communication with apart than bonjour and bon soir everyday. There’s the Chef of the reception which is the nicest chef I met, he makes jokes, hums while working, patient when showing me how to do something and very relaxed. The other Chef of the reception is more stressed to finish everything fast, talks fast and becomes upset when I don’t understand or when I ask too many questions. For example, one day I had to cut the bread and arrange it on grills in a certain way he explained. When he came back and saw the arrangement he was angry that I did not do what I was told! Rearranged it to look like that:
Some dishes I was part of the making:
And another important part of every day is the lunch or dinner break.
I have many more pictures so I hope to update more regularly. Though I have some more spare time I still can’t seem to do everything I want to. Trying to go dancing again, go to the pub with friends, do my own shopping for groceries, cooking at home (post will follow soon) and all the usual time-spending, my spare time is short!