Posts tagged ‘NRA Show’

Pink Lady Green Juice

Day 2 of NRA Weekend!

Ruth worked station 2, totally rocking it. Like Elliot said, I definitely need to step up my game. So next week, after I open Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be training on 2 Wednesday night. Eep! I’m actually not as mentally frightened as I was last time because this time I asked for the training, as opposed to my elders pointing at me and telling me I’m ready when I wasn’t. There’s a difference! That said, when Wednesday rolls around I’ll be a little nervous of course, but I sure as hell won’t try to run away from it like I did last time….

Today was a little bit of a weird day. Not bad, not great. Not too easy and yet not too hard. It almost felt like I opened, but I didn’t. It helped that our newest hire, Sylvester, was training on 3, and I got to finish a lot of prep downstairs (and supervising stage-turned-intern Theo and return-stage Waldon). At some point later that night, Expo Armanzo (yep, he’s back, despite his bum leg!) had me come upstairs and observe Sylvester and give him pointers. I did, but it’s painful to be one more person hanging out in an already tight spot. Way to go, making me feel fatter than I already am :/

Sylvester works fine, but he needs to be fine-tuned. Years of fine-dining taught him several habits that he needs to break while working at Avec, like arranging steak when he really ought to lay it down and sell it. He also took seemingly forever to cook whitefish and then he’d let it rest for a minute, when again, if it were me, I’d sell the damn thing and get it out of my sight. The way he picks up the octo salad is strange-ish too.
Granted, he’s still new and too many people have already told him things, so my advice was probably just confusing him. I definitely emphasized developing his own preferences that enable him to work more efficiently and faster. Later that night, Armanzo was able to touch base with him more. Armanzo definitely has a way of explaining things that puts things in perspective, whereas I’m better as explaining prep-related technicalities. I feel that I’m too blunt or too vague when it comes to training others on the line, so I’m never confident when I’m asked to “babysit”. It’s like, “What do you mean you’re not telepathic?!…”

Oh well, nothing else to add right now. I should get going to bed since I have to get up to open in about 4 and a half hours. Yeesh…. All I’m looking forward to right now is making some awesome comida for Jorge and Manny with some leftover chicken legs from Sunday night service….

Lately You Live In The Jungle

I had my heart-to-heart with Elliot, but it wasn’t really anything because we’re not that close. And Elliot was surprised I didn’t know about his leaving. “I think you’re the last one to know.” Thanks ;_;

He says the new place will be called Reno. Um… not loving this name. At all. Maybe it should be spelled Rino instead.
It’s not like he’s going far away, just to Logan Square. But he’s going to be in the same restaurant group as Johnny Andere’s place, and if I later find out that Adam Walsh has jumped ship from Tavernita and is working in the same company, then I guess my dream was actually a prophecy.

That said, tonight I had a fine time on Station 3. Aside from the fact that I couldn’t find my regular knife all night and it bugged me for hours. I ended up using my Ohishi which I’d rather not use, especially since I dropped it a while ago and broke the tip off; the memory still pains me. Later around 11:45pm, I checked my phone and Katie sent me a text saying she’d put my knife away in my knife kit. Of all the places! >_< I haven't touched my knife kit in about a year. It doesn't have any knives (I keep them in my locker), so of course that would be the last place I'd look. But phew! I'm relieved the mystery is solved, since I'm fond of that knife. It's a hand-me-down Messermeister Usuba that has served me well on the line.

Tomorrow is the first day of the National Restaurant Association Convention. To others it might be the other NRA, but to me, it’s the first thing I think of when I hear “NRA show”. Marcus’s buddy and his dad came for dinner tonight, and I guess the father’s a chef who’s going to be at the convention tomorrow. Long story short, he’s in the industry, so before he left, he left the line cooks a $20 tip. Woohoo! Thank you, sir!

Speaking of appreciation, some diner sitting at 72 apparently loved his pasta so much, he had to express his thanks twice. The first time he asked Ryan to let me know how awesome his pasta was (woot! *fist pump!*) and then the second time, he actually came up to the window to let Elliot know. Elliot called me over and I got to meet this guy face to face. The praise was profuse and I wish I could remember exactly what he said but it was somewhere along the lines of incredible and the best pasta he’d ever had in his life. Yay! I always try to make food really tasty and you always hope that diners like it, but to get immediate feedback is always something that perks me up, especially if it’s positive. It reminds me of the time Josh showed me some credit card receipt slip where someone had scrawled “The fish was cooked perfectly!”. Aww, yay! Go, me!

And then you get the occasional negative downer which just saddens you. Mostly it comes in the form of some dish getting sent back with a mild complaint (“Too salty” or “too dry”) or when it comes to steak, it’ll be a little reheat because the diner thought the steak was too raw or something. It happens. But the only time a complaint has ever confused and saddened me was the Foie Incident which took place about 2 weeks ago. Some couple ordered a half-lobe of foie, which I cooked and sent out (after they impatiently asked “How much longer on the foie?”), but they sent it back saying they thought it “too raw”. Uh, whut? If anything, at the time, I’d thought I’d cooked it a smidge over, but Elliot examined it, called it perfect, and then after rolling his eyes, had me cook it some more. It hurt me to do such a thing, so after putting back in the oven, I had Elliot plate it because I had to go downstairs and get something.
But apparently even after Elliot sent it out, it got sent back with the “still too raw” complaint tacked on it; they didn’t want to eat it; we took it off their bill. WHAT?! I killed a precious piece of foie, only to have these bastards not pay for it?! We were all a bit annoyed to say the least. But damned if I wasn’t going to eat the leftovers. We divided it up and shared it away with the back of the house. I never eat off another diner’s plate, but foie gras is an exception. It was still tasty despite being overcooked ;_; *sob sob*

I open tomorrow.
I also asked Elliot to start training on 2. “Oh hoh! Come crawling back, I see!” he chortled. Grr…. Whatever. With Elliot leaving, I have to bite the bullet and learn how to work 2 under him because… I want to train under him. And he’s leaving soon, so better now then never.
Urgh… he hasn’t even left yet and I’m already missing him ;_;