Posts tagged ‘Ohishi’

Man Of The Hour

Last Tuesday was Elliot’s last night at avec. Even though it was my day off, I made sure to show up that night to see him off. I wasn’t the only one! Armanzo came in earlier that night to eat and bade him farewell. Fred and Theo came in. Ruth, who opened earlier that day, came back that night as well. Adam Walsh, who doesn’t even work here anymore, came in to say his goodbyes. It was totally bittersweet and awesome. Drinks were toasted, pictures were taken, and there was a little bit of dancing (mostly just Master Blaster and Elliot yukking it up).

During a lull in the festivities, I presented Elliot with a thank you/going-away present. It was a (beautiful) Ohishi petty knife that kinda-sorta got him a little verklempt. He looked at it and then he said, “I will pay you back.” “No you will not!” I retorted. The knife was my way of paying him back for all that he’d done for me. I mean, the man stayed after his opener to help me make potstickers for Thanksgiving last year. For that alone, I’m eternally grateful. I hoped the knife would become a tool that would serve him well wherever he went. “Thanks, Betty. I love you,” Elliot said as he looked at the knife. Aww! And then to cut the Hallmark moment, Theo piped in, “That’s a really pretty box [the knife came in].” Hahaha.

Elliot has now achieved Dad status, but in my heart he’ll always be Commander Green, one of the best chefs I’ve had the honor of working with. As of now, he’s totally chillaxin’ in Minnesota with his girl, Nancy (and both of them friend-requested me on facebook! Yay!), and hopefully when he comes back, I’ll get some moccasins. But even if I don’t, I’ll be really happy to see him again.

Good bye, dad!! We love you!!!

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 ;_;

Shonen Knife

Monday was actually pretty slow, with about 120 covers. But because I’d not been on station 3 for a week, and we had a couple of menu changes, my nerves were in a bit of a state. Katie on 1 felt the same way because her station had a new chicken dish and a pork shoulder change since she’d last worked. The two of us are kind of similar and get along really well because of that.

The new pasta dish on my station is really tasty. It’s pappardelle with pork neck ragu, charred fennel and olives. Of course, I had to deal with the parcooked pappardelle sticking to eachother and it was a freaking bitch to deal with. It wasn’t until I left the pasta out at room temperature that they became a touch easier to peel but I still encountered some difficulties. If peeling pasta on a Monday night is annoying, I shudder to think about what it would be like on a Friday or Saturday night. Gross.

The new whitefish dish on 3 is super pretty and delicious too. Tonight it was manageable but it’s gonna be crazy on the later days because it’s definitely looking to be a popular menu item. Armanzo said of his last couple days on 3 he was “raped” by order-fires. I’m scared to be in his shoes. I once helped him plate 6 pastas. I’ve never even had to fire 6 of anything at once yet…. Urgh… I know there will be a time like that coming eventually but still! Scared of the unknown.

Speaking of unknown, I came into work Sunday and one of my knives (my Wusthof) was missing. At first I thought I’d just left it out and some benevolent soul was safekeeping it for me but it can’t be because for this particular knife, I use a metal honing steel… and the steel was in my locker. And the Wusthof has a knife guard…and the knife guard was in my locker. I asked around today if anyone had seen it but so far nothing. I should probably be a little relieved that it was not my Ohishi that went missing but still, I’m partial to that knife. I’m not afraid to bang up my Wusthof, whereas the Ohishi still has that new-knife-sheen to it that makes me a little apprehensive to use it as hard as I’d like. Also the Ohishi has more delicate metal or something which is also a slight drawback.
Anyway, the point is: where the eff is my knife? Did someone borrow it and forget to return it? Or did someone steal it and I’m not gonna get it back? Damn….

I took the initiative today and actually talked Elliot into letting me sell our mushroom salad (recently taken off the menu) as a special since we still had all the place for it. We ended up selling quite a bit. Despite my elation at this “big girl” move, until I figure out the status of my missing knife, everything else is just minor details.

Grrr… where is my knife?

Bless My Heart

Happy birthday to me yesterday! I had a good time being at work! It was super mellow but steady and at some point, we got to play paper telephone. It was so fun. I laughed til there were tears in my eyes.

Definitely what made it a great birthday were the people around. My favorite lineup (me-1, Elliot-2, Armanzo-3) and fun(ny) staff: Erick, Oscar, Diego, Liz. I didn’t do much birthday drinking (drat?) but it’s not what I set out to do anyway.

Instead of a cake, Erick put a candle in a chocolate mousse (currently my favorite dessert on the menu) and I had that. My birthday wish probably won’t come true but I was happy that for this one day of the year, I was able to secretly make a selfish wish. I definitely felt loved. It was a great day in my life.

Chiffonading parsley with my new Ohishi chef's knife (a gift from my boyfriend) ^_^