Post 28 – Days 56-65: New menu n. 3

Last two week were ok.

Last Thursday we changed the menu, so I had to learn the new five starters.

The only annoying thing is that on Friday and Saturday evening I have to work together with chef R. He’s ok apart the fact that is always asking me to do something every minute: “Could you that do X for me, please?”. After a minute: “Ok, when you finish Z could you do X for me, please? Then you have to do Y.” And so on for all the dinner service… Holy  patience…

Post 27 – Days 51-55: Smiles in the kitchen!

Last week suppose to be a tough week. In fact it did’t start in the best way. As I arrived for the dinner service on Tuesday evening, chef C. that worked at lunch told me: “He[the head chef]’s still angry, give shit to everyone”. Good. 😀

Usually when the head chef arrives everything has to be ready: cutting boards and spoons on the benches, buckets with a sponge and water for cleaning in their places, fires have to be on as week as the air con.

On that night I had also to prepare the staff meal, as usual the chef asked me to cook a pasta using the ingredients that I want. Dinner had to be ready by 5.30 pm. What time is it? 5.17. Shit!

That’s what happen in the first 20 minutes:

5.20: everything ready on the benches, fires on, pot of salted water for the pasta on a big fire

5.21: in the cool room I take 2 onions, 1 big zucchini, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 red capsicums (colour counts :D), from the dry store the pasta

5.22: I put a big fry pan on the fire with oil, I start dicing onion and vegetables, onion and garlic on the pan

5.25: I return in the cool room to take eggs and cream, I mix them in a bowl with salt pepper

5.26: chef C. “Put some herbs and nice ingredients in the pasta!”, I go back in the cool room to take some parsley

5.27 shit, the pasta! I put 424 g of pasta in water. Cooking time 8 minutes. Shit.

5.35 vegetables in the pan start to burn, I put some water in the pan, chef arrives, “Hello chef!”

5.37 I drain the pasta, then I throw it in the pan with the mix of eggs

5.38 6 plates on the bench

5.39 I put the pasta on the plates, the chef asks “put some parmesan on the top”, I go in the cool room, take the parmesan, spread on each plate

5.45 on the table

5.46 “Mmm, Nico the pasta is very good!”

Pheew.

Fortunately the dinner service was smooth, the head chef started in bad mood but finished the evening making jokes to me.

The day after at 5.17 same story, I had to prepare the staff mean but more easier: I had to slice rockmelon and ham.

Service was ok. At the end the chef told me: “Tomorrow a new guy called T. will start to work with us”. Great!

In fact the last 3 days of the week were very good. The new guy started to work for the mains with the head chef and me and R. working on the starters.

Saturday we worked very well and at the end of service a beer for everyone (it was normal, but in the last 2 Saturday we haven’t seen any yellow liquid for free :D).

Today I’ll start a new week. Four weeks to go!

Post 26 – Days 47-50: This restaurant is a joke

Last Wednesday (I had Tuesday off because I worked on extra Saturday morning) I was going to work in a relaxed and good mood. In fact a new pastry chef suppose to join us, chef C. coming back in the kitchen from the sweet section so the individual amount of job would have been lower for each one.

Obviously when you expect something good the opposite happen. As soon as arrived chef A. told me two bad things: the new pastry chef got injured on the weekend so she will be back in two weeks; second, chef R. that started last week works only for lunch service 3 times a week and full time only on Friday and Saturday. Consequently I have to run the larder section by myself in the first 3 dinner service of the week. That is good if there are not many customers but on a busy evening it will be a problem…

Despite the premises Wednesday and Thursday dinners were very quite. We finished very early, no rush.

Friday I worked for both lunch and dinner service. In the latter there were about 50 bookings but we manage the service easily since we were 4 chefs in the kitchen and 1 in the pastry section.

I had Saturday morning off, I went for a 20 km run then ready at the restaurant at 5 pm. News of the day? Chef A. quit the job after lunch service! Shit. I can perfectly understand him. He was working under pressure and the head chef treated him badly. I think he reached the limit and just quit as he suppose to do a couple of weeks ago.
We were only in 3 in the kitchen and 1 in the pastry instead of being 5 and 1. It was one of the worst service ever. The head chef returned to his bossy-angry mood. He wanted to manage the mains by himself but he has been overwhelmed by the orders and started to yell at everyone: chefs, waiters, dishwashers. It seemed one of the service of the first 2 weeks when he started in this restaurant. Violent, bad-tempered and constantly furious.

Tonight I’ll start a new week. I think I have to run the starters by myself, the head chef will prepare the mains and chef C. in the pastry.

Anyway, 5 weeks to go for me. Two weeks ago I told to the head chef that I will quit the 13th of April. 😀

Post 25 – Days 36-46: Mayonnase is not an emulsion!

Me and the head chef

Me and the head chef

In these last 2 weeks the head chef looked for  a new chef that can join us in the kitchen.

2 weeks ago came a French guy for a trial. He has been working in restaurants for 15 years. In fact he was a kitchen-machine. 🙂 Fast, clean, organized. Unfortunately he last only one day. His house was too far from the restaurant and it took him one hour and a half to get to work. So he decided not to come any more. 😦

Last week came a young French guy that arrived in Australia 1 week ago. He last 3 days. 😀
He was the typical guy that works for money, without any passion or sign of interest about his profession. He just asked me what he had to do, never asked questions about the dishes, ingredients, preparation. As soon as I start explaining him something he already said “Ah yes, I know” before I can finish the sentence… I hope he can change his attitude otherwise he won’t enjoy any other workplace.

Last Saturday I started service in the morning at 10.30 instead of 9. The head chef told me the day before that I have to introduce a new Australian chef to my section. When I arrived I was introduce to the new chef R. Nice guy, he worked a couple of years in the previous restaurant of the current owner of this bistro. I introduce to him how we prepare all the starters, the plating, mise en place and all he needs to know in order to run the section by himself. In fact next Tuesday he will work in my place because I will have a day off. Chef gave me a break because “I worked hard” in the last 2 weeks and I came to work on Saturday lunch (I suppose not to do that).

One positive thing is that the head chef changed his mood. In the positive side. 🙂 He’s more relaxed and don’t give me shit as in the first 2 weeks. If I do some mistake he often teases me ironically. I just smile an keep going with my job.
I made a big smile (for not crying) when chef showed me how to make the Bearnaise sauce. He was telling me: “This is an emulsion”.
Me: “Like mayonnaise…”.
Chef: “No, mayonnaise is not an emulsion!”.
No comment. 😦

Next week suppose to be good. I hope. With one more chef in the kitchen life will be easier. 😉

Some pics of the dishes: