Today was a “short” day, only 13 hours!
I seem to be being accepted a bit more every day.
In terms of cooking: my google research served me well and I figured out how to use xanthum gum. I told Dara as much and I hope she was quietly impressed by my initiative. I also think I improved my tomato peeling technique, although not perfect. I also helped to make tamales using the special and beautiful Restaurant technique… which I was really bad at… hopefully I’ll improve… it was fairly intimidating as all the downstairs chefs had moved up to our area and I felt a bit intimidated!
The food continues to be amazing and I love all the smells swirling around me. I also love that I’m allowed / encouraged to try absolutely everything. Just ask the question. Everything that I try is the absolute best of it’s kind. They tend to have incredible depth – like a bit of queso cuardo that I tried today which is basically just a bit of fresh cheese but you take a bite and you’re thinking “oo yummy, tangy cheese” and then a second flavour wave hits you and it’s a different, equally delicious one. Even the carrots are just more delicious. And I love picking criollo off the coriander – it smells like summer.
And today someone ordered in these sandwiches which we’re so delicious. Rommy the dishwasher tipped me off that they’d arrived and I went running. It had about 3 different meats, fried chicken, some kind of ham and maybe bacon? It was about 4 inches tall and it tasted like heaven.
I also got to try our god damn chorizo today. And now I understand why it was all worth it! It was the best chorizo I’ve ever tried and all our hard work chopping was completely worth it as it had this different, amazing texture (and wonderful flavour). When you cut through, you can see the little pieces of pork and lard that were so lovingly chopped. It’s now proudly hanging in the dry ager where I shall nod to it every morning.
Today one of the downstairs chefs came up after lunch service and heard people speaking to me in English and vice versa and he kept saying (in Spanish) “Speak Spanish, you need to practice” and now refuses to speak to me in English. I take the fact that he wants me to practice as a huge compliment.
Oh and after I left, I popped into a little artisan shop next door and chatted to the owners. I told them that I was working at The Restaurant and the guys face lit up – imagine this *fabulous*, 30 year old guy – he told me I was a celebrity (I protested by he insisted!!), asked (jokingly) for my autograph and then proceeded to tell me about all the amazing food in Mexico City.
Right – time for bed – it’s getting late and it’s, surprise, surprise – another early start!
Lessons for the day:
It turns out you can be THIS tired
Also turns out you can work 42 hours in three days and not pass out
Hand chopped chorizo is amazing
I will can’t wait to be a tomato blanching expert – not quite there yet!