Post 17 – Day 16: Last day of the internship

This morning late 12 km run, some reading about review of chef’s knives then cycled to the restaurant for the last day of my internship.

I should say that for me was the busiest service in these 4 weeks. I had to run both the larder and garnish section and prepare more entrees that I usually do.

I started by preparing two trays of tomatoes for the tarts (sliced 15 tomatoes in quarters, salt, chopped thyme, balsamic, olive oil, 25 minutes in the oven, rotate the tray, other 10 minutes) then I:

  • prepared amuse-bouche soups
  • prepared tomato tarts entree (chef Y. yelled at me 3 times that the tart has to be hot and I don’t have to prepare them in advance while the other entrees from the main section haven’t be ready yet)
  • prepared carpaccio entree
  • prepared charcuterie board entree
  • chopped chives (I hate to do that with my dull knife :()
  • julienned apples for salads

Finally during the service I heard an angry French chef yelling in Gordon Ramsay style! He was the owner of the restaurant. He’s old, I saw him 4-5 times in these 4 weeks. He’s very nice and always smiles at me and ask “how are you?”. He never cooks on the line, just give directions for new recipes to the head chef.
Tonight he was entertaining the guests at the table when he came back in the kitchen saying that the sauce wasn’t good or something like that. Then, since everyone was busy at their jobs and he didn’t give him attention (I suppose) he started yelling: “You have to listen to me and follow my order when I say something, this sauce is shit and you have to fix it!!!” or something similar with some f**k in the middle. 😀

However, nobody was particularly worried about that or started to loose control. Very professional guys. 🙂

As I supposed the head chef hasn’t realized that it was my last day of the internship. When I asked him: “Good chef, then?”. “See you next Tuesday for your last week!”. I said: “Ehm, actually today has been the last day…”.

So now I am waiting until next Wednesday since he has to propose my position to the owner. He told me that probably I will run the larder section for 2 full days a week: 9 am to 3.30 pm, break then 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

Finger crossed. 😉


Post 16 – Day 15: They taught me how to cook a risotto!

This week I changed routine. I eat dinner at midnight when I come back from the restaurant, do some reading and go to sleep around 2 am. Wake up at 10.30, 12 km running under the Australian sun then cycle to the restaurant where I start working at 5 pm.

Today service time was good, I did the same jobs as the previous days in the garnish section:

  • prepared amuse-bouche soups
  • prepared tomato tarts entrees
  • minced parsley
  • brunoise shallots (chef Y. was frustrated because I am still too slow, I had to prepared 2 boxes of shallots but I did only one :()
  • warmed mashed potatoes
  • moved hot plates from the oven to the service table

They taught me new jobs:

  • heat the soup for the amuse-bouche
  • wrap pork rillettes for the terrine board
  • pre-cook a saffron risotto (a Korean chef teach to an Italian how make a risotto in a French restaurant :D)

Tomorrow last day of the training period!

Post 15 – Day 14: Quite Wednesday (again)

Scar on my arm

Same day as yesterday, the only difference: 8 covers instead of 80. 😀

During the service I:

  • cooked mashed potatoes
  • warmed mashed potatoes
  • prepared tomato tarts entree
  • warmed bread
  • minced shallots
  • deboned an hotel pan of pig’s trotters (the meat will be use for the terrine)

I realized one of the chef’s hobby: collecting scars caused by being burnt somewhere. Oven is the main source for the purpose but I am learning new ones:

  • sprays of hot oil or liquid food from the frying pans on the stove
  • hot plates from the oven
  • unattended hot trays on the bench left from other chefs that you take with your hands because you think they are cold

I’m at quote 5 in almost 4 weeks, I want to reach 10 in the next month. 😀

Post 14 – Day 13: 40 orders at once!

7.30 am: 12 km running

9.25 cycling to office

10.30 office

13.30 knife shopping (I want to try a Shun, I tried the Global G2 and the Wushtof Ikon Classic), lunch, reading at the library

17 ready at the restaurant

Finally a busy evening service! I asked to the waiter M.: “How many bookings for tonight?”. “Full booked, more than 80 people”. Wow!

The most exiting moment was the order of one table for 40 people. I had to prepare 40 soups at once! In the meanwhile the other chefs was plating the entrees. All the benches were completely covered by plates. For the first time the chef called the orders with a very loud voice.

Then the mains were prepared by chefs A., Y. and L. Everything worked perfectly and there was a strange atmosphere: everyone were fast at preparing the dishes but in the meanwhile calm and in control. No panic. For me as well even if I’ve just helped chef Y. to finish one of the entrees.

During the service I:

  • prepared mash potatoes (cooked in the stove then mashed with a food mill)
  • prepared croutons (sliced Turkish bread, brushed with herbs oil, sprinkled with flake salt, baked for about 10 minutes)
  • prepared baguettes
  • moved hot plates from the oven to the pass
  • prepared tomato tarts entree
  • prepared charcuterie board entree
  • prepared amuse-bouche soups
  • sliced fennel

Minus 3 days to the end of the internship!

Post 13 – Day 12: 3rd Friday evening service

Not bad today. 12 km in the morning, no office, good lunch, cycled to the restaurant. 5 pm ready in the kitchen.

During service I:

  • chopped parsley
  • warmed mashed potatoes
  • prepared amuse-bouche soups
  • prepared tomato tarts entree
  • prepared tomato charcuterie tart entree
  • re-filled giardinere ramekins for the charcuterie boards
  • chopped chives (my knife sucks I have definetely to buy a new one)
  • carried hot plates from the oven to the service table
  • prepared a box of basil leaves
  • prepared a box of coriander leaves

We had a 5 minute break at 9.30 pm while I talked with chefs A. and Y. They asked me about how I like cooking. It’s strange because they don’t enjoy cooking at home but only in a commercial kitchen… All chefs seemed pretty tired during the service but they are always nice to me. Lucky me. 🙂

Next week last week of the training period!

Post 12 – Day 11: Service finished early… only for me

Even if I slept less than my usual 8-9 hours I had to ran my 12 km early in the morning because I had a special commitment at 8.30 am: the dentist! In fact last Saturday while I was cleaning my teeth with dental floss I felt a big piece of food coming out… oh no, it wasn’t food but my dental filling! Therefore this morning the dentist re-fill the cavity in 20 minutes for a convenient price of $200. 😀

Anyway, then I had lunch and cycle to the restaurant and I was ready at 4.50 pm. Chefs were resting in the store room, chef Y. told me: “We’re not busy tonight, you can start at 5.30 pm with us”. Fair enough. I read Becasse chef’s A. book that he got from Sydney.

During the service I:

  • chopped chives
  • minced parsley
  • prepared amouse-bouche soups
  • prepared tomato tarts entree
  • prepared charcuterie board entree
  • prepared bouquet garni (2 leek stalks, 2 celery stalks, 3 black peppercorns, 1 bay leave, 3 cloves, bunch of thyme, all wrapped with a wire)

At 9.10 pm the head chef told me: “Nico, you can go in 10 minutes”.

But I preferred to stay longer and clean the benches as chef K. asked me. Then I wrapped the baguettes, dispose the garbage.

Both chefs K. and Y. asked me if I am interested to work in the restaurant. I confirm that. 🙂 Chef K. told me he was an engineer but he quit his job because he wasn’t happy. But he never thought to work in the restaurant business…

I changed my clothes and return in the kitchen to say goodbye to everyone at 9.30 pm when arrived an order for 7 people. I was already all clean and people were ready to go home. I told chef K. that I can prepare the entrees if needed, but he told me for the 3rd time:  “Don’t worry, you can go home”. 🙂

Tomorrow last day of the 3rd week!

Post 11 – Day 10: busy Wednesday

This morning I ran slow 12 km, had lunch ride to the restaurant started working at 5 pm.

As always, when you expect something to happen, the opposite occur. Last Wednesday was veeeeery quite and I had thought that tonight would have been the same. Wrong assumption. 😀

For the first time there was an order for a table of 11 people.

What I have done in the garnish section:

  • minced shallots
  • re-heated baguettes for the service
  • prepared amuse-bouche soups
  • prepared tomato tarts entree (4 in a row for an order, first time)
  • prepared charcuterie board entree
  • warmed mashed potatoes on the stove (the bottom don’t have to brown, that obviously happened and I was told to replace the pot)
  • plated mashed potatoes (chef L. showed me how but I messed up, obviously)

I haven’t write about that but at the end of the service we always:

  • cling wrap all the leftover ingredients in our mise en place (many garnishes as tomato concasse, herbs, oil and edible ingredients that haven’t been used for X days finish on the bin, I hate this :()
  • wrap baguettes in cling film and place them in the cold room
  • scratch the benches with sponge and soap
  • rinse the benches
  • remove water from the baine-marie
  • wash the floor with 2 different mops
  • help the dishwasher to dry plates and pots and place them back on their place
  • dispose the garbage (that include a bucket o liquid fat)

Before service I talked with the head chef about cooking then he showed me how he preserve the beef chuck that was cooked overnight. During the service he assigned me to the garnish section and told me that my duties were to prepare soups, tomato tarts and charcuterie boards.

Chef K. was injured at his food and was in pain. I wanted to help him, but I couldn’t do any of his jobs because I am not allowed to cook mains on the stoves!