Today when I got to work, I was surprised to see a stage in the prep kitchen. Non-culinary readers might want to take note that in kitchen-lingo, a stage (rhymes with Taj Mahal) is someone who apprentices theirself in a kitchen for a short period of time, usually working for free. If a kitchen is hiring, they set up a stage to see how the potential employee works. If a cook just wants to see what a certain restaurant’s kitchen is like, they might just set up a stage for fun. A couple of months ago, we had a stage who happened to be Adam’s friend who was visiting from New York. We also once had a stage who couldn’t handle the line and slipped away in the middle of service without telling anyone. Sometimes I wonder where he is now….

That said, at Avec we have stages prep for a while and then hang out on the line where the action is. Today was no different. Except that this stage would be observing me, which I thought was going to be surreal, since I’d only started working the line myself. I kept up pretty well actually and in retrospect I think I looked pretty good. During a lull, John had me switch with the stage so he could get a taste of line time, with me acting as his guide. “Oh no… it’s going to be the blind leading the blind,” I groaned. But he was pretty decent. He handled the heat well. He caught on quickly once I explained some basics or told him what ingredients went in a dish. In fact, he was so decently proficient, my self confidence kind of waned. I had half expected for him to get swamped and I’d jump in, like when I got overwhelmed and Dylan would help me out of my jam. But it never happened. He only switched out once, when he cut his finger and he went to get a bandage. A couple minutes later he was back with a glove on and jumped back on. If anything, I kind of got bored and a little sad that I had nothing to do but observe and fetch items ._.
It made my night really easy though. And when he left later that evening, I just breezed right through the rest of service.

I’d like to say that tonight was a WIN situation, but I kind of wish I had my line time. Whoa…how weird is that, considering last week I was nearly prostrated by fear of the line? Am I getting better or growing up? Maybe a little bit of both.

My next two days are off days and then I’m back on prep Saturday. Hmm… does that mean I’ll be working a Sunday?! OOOH!! Will report back as soon as I find out.

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