Good job, kid. Have a cold one.

Wednesday was my second time working Station 2. Thanks to the slow night (we did 105 covers), I was able to work with relatively no problems. My only missteps? Not checking a ticket which resulted in my firing two dishes too soon. Drat! Sorry Sylvester ._.

Honestly, I was just a little worried I’d freak and whine like last week, but I kept it at a minimum and meant it very jokingly. I’m mostly very glad the kitchen gods smiled on me and let me have a relatively quiet night so I could essentially study what I’ve termed “Station 2 mechanics”, which are the little ins and outs of the station and how I can make them work for me, or what isn’t working and how I can fix it. For example, on Station 1 I keep a tiny cazuela for my chiffed parsley because I don’t want to use the line’s dinnerware. On Station 3, I keep a ninth pan of water in the sink to dip utentils into, especially ones I’ve used to cook brandade or pasta with, because those two dishes have clingy elements (dairy and chopped ramps) that don’t easily wash away with a quick rinse under running water. (Sylvester has actually adopted this practice too. Yay!)

I wish I had watched Elliot more when he was on 2. I took his presence for granted and now I’m just going to have to cobble all my memories together and sift through them and try to make what I can my own. For one thing, the quarter pan for flour and oil is a good idea but something about it is getting in my way. That, or the fact that I’ve got too many freakin’ salad bowls and it costs me too many precious seconds to figure out which is which, despite my trick of leaving one piece of the salad element in the bowl for easy identification. Whatever… still only my second time. (Crutch excuse?)

Speaking of precious seconds, Server Giulietta saw in one of my more disappointing moments during peak dinner hours when I overcooked a flatbread for the anchovy dish and flung it into the garbage. I was a little mad at forgetting the flatbread, that it was too dark to be salvaged (it was a shade too charred or else I’d have rolled with it), and because would it have killed Sylvester to flip my flatbread if it looked like I was somewhat preoccupied?! Maybe I’m disappointed because when I’m on 3, I’ve flipped the flatbread to help out and set it near the Station 2 oven when it was done cooking; I wondered, “Where’s the consideration?” but whatever. I’m sure Sylvester was too preoccupied trying to figure out his own Station Mechanics to flip some flatbread.

I guess I was sweating under all these preconceived expectations of myself. I wanted to work as fast as I could while still churning out quality food, trying not to lag, trying not to falter. Little failures tend to throw me off a bit. I guess it’s really true when Koren says I’m somewhat of a perfectionist.

Anyway, that and the early course firing were the only two missteps of the night. My focaccia and flatbread were relatively good looking. It helped that I had my own mental Elliot yelling in my head, “Work faster! Move your hands and spread that cheese!” though he did have to remind me to mind my flatbread and not to forget brandade crostini. Around 10:30pm Elliot declared, “You’ve got it. I’m going home.” What! I was a little sad to see him go because I like to talk with him when we take the train together, but I was a little happy that he was satisfied with my progress. It was smooth sailing afterward. That is, until around 11:40pm a 6-top came in, ordered a slightly lengthy three-course meal, and I was told that one of the guys (who was kinda tubby, wearing a pageboy cab, and was oddly very red) was a Food Network chef named Beau MacMillan. Not that I gave a fuck. As far as I was concerned, it was late and I wanted to go home. So what did I do? We cooked their courses, I waited three minutes, fired their next course and after sending them out, waited three more minutes and fired the next. I told Giulietta, “If Beau MacMillan thinks I’m rushing his courses, it’s because I am.”

Avec’s Thursday buyout: I wonder how that turned out? I mean, aside from obvious smooth sailing, I wonder if there was any fun anecdotes I’ll hear about?

Who knows if I’ll work 2 next Wednesday, but I saw this week’s schedule and I’m working on 1 this Saturday with Theo. WHOA! It’s been so long since I was a date slinger! Awesome! In actuality, it’ll just be me watching over Theo as he sweats his way through 1 (Said Theo, “Elliot said I need another person to yell at me.”) but still, yay!