Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Toeing the line...

Today's Banquet class was all about going over the menu for the first day of restaurant service. Yep, we're the suckers who are providing food this quarter to the cafe and dining room class. The menu is going to be less elaborate than the one we had when I was in Dining Room during spring quarter. As Chef Banquet said, "this is banquet food. It means that everyone pretty much gets the same thing at the same time." We have 3 menus for the 3 weeks of service (2 days/week), which will consist of soup, salad, choice between 2 entrees with a starch and veg, and dessert.

We went over our positions in the kitchen for the first week, and it looks like I am spinning up salad for the first service day. Whoot! Personally, I'd be very happy to dish up salad for the entire service time, but in the interest of experience (read torture), we have to rotate through positions. So, the next service day, I get to sling up entree 1, which has me quaking just a bit in my ugly chef shoes.

I keep trying to reassure myself that I am ready to do this, that this won't be nearly as hard as it looked a couple of quarters ago because we're not doing things "to order." As Chef Banquet said, when everyone is seated and while drinks are being server, we're going to start firing soups for everyone, because they will all get soup. While soup is being served, we'll start plating salads, because again, they will all get the salad. It gets more restaurant-like after that, because half the people at a table will get entree 1 and half get entree 2, so we'll have to work a little more on timing and interaction with the folks on the line.

The line is pretty close quarters, so it's going to get interesting (read highly entertaining) based on some of the personalities we've got in this class. Overall, the attitude is good, and I have high hopes that we can pull it together as a team. But, there's always a few that make it a challenge to not stick them with pointy end of a knife. Ah, the spice of life, that variety stuff.

After we shuffled into the kitchen and talked a little bit about logistics, we got to inventory the chemical and paper goods storage and assist the dining room class with moving tables around. My tuition dollars at work! Technically, it could be call "experience" again for the real world, but we all know it was Chef getting out of counting it herself. Not that I blame her one iota, because inventory is the pits.

And to top off the day, I seem to have pinched, pulled, strained, something in my lower back on the left side...kind of around my kidney. No matter how I sit or lie, I cannot get comfortable and there's some excruciating pain that accompanies certain movements and positions. The poodles have learned many new combinations of curse words this evenings, which may come back to haunt me if they ever actually acquire the knack of speaking aloud. I'm just hoping that the pain killer kicks in soon...I need some beauty rest.

1 comment:

Linna said...

Poor baby! So sorry to hear about your back. Back pains are really nasty. Start eating Advil like candy to bring the swelling down. That should help.

It sounds like you are inching closer and closer to an actual restaurant kitchen experience. I think it's great of your school to teach things that actually prepare people for the real world. But personally I can think of about a zillion white collar jobs I would rather do than slinging chicken breasts in a restaurant.

I spent Sunday up on a shed roof nailing down shingles. It made me really appreciate my cube and my computer.