September 26, 2016
Today started out rough; not only because we had a lot of prep to do, but that I didn’t get any sleep the night before. I arrived at the lab around 7:05 and immediately grabbed the frozen meats from the walk-in freezer and defrosted them under running water. I also searched for the shrimp and the fresh clams that we would need for the day. Colin and I went to work on prep and how we would initially set up the line for service. We were scheduled to open at 11:00 today but were delayed due to technically issues with the fryer, and maybe the slow performance of a woman who didn’t get any sleep or coffee. I am thankful for Chef Gil’s lenient but firm nature when it comes to prepping and getting ready this first week. This week is one where we set up and get familiar with everything in the café. It was hard not only because I was doing something else then line cooking, but cooking at home and in a restaurant is different to me. You don’t have to worry about many things at home that you do in the restaurant, and you don’t have the fast-paced feeling when cooking for family. Transitioning has been a little hard, but I am at college to learn; so exposure to all of this restaurant preparation business is a good thing. We continued prepping and figuring things out well into the afternoon with some to go orders and one table sitting down for lunch. Equipment has been malfunctioning over the past week and I think it is starting to get on everybody’s nerves. We had Chef Gil give us a Pho Beef Broth demo today which required us to blanch beef bones, scrub the impurities off of them and then introduce different spices like star anise, cinnamon, charred onion and ginger. I always wondered what that special taste was in Pho broth, now I know it to be star anise. Cannot wait to try some tomorrow! The demo was probably the best thing that happened today, the worst being the long clean ups, but hopefully those will start to shorten soon.