Another 14.5 hour day! More sore feet. As per normal, we get no breaks.
What happened today? I can hardly remember.
I blanched tomatoes, made three mayonnaise’s (woah my arm was sore!) and made some purees through the ole Chinoise (damn that was hard work too!). I killed (by beheading), peeled the bodies and then cleaned the heads of out about 100 giant pawns. I learned that the optimum blanching time for a prawn head is almost exactly 3 seconds.
One of my favourite daily scenes at the restaurant is climbing up the stairs from the prep kitchen in the afternoon and being greeted by the two cheekiest dogs, Almendra the golden retriever and Chia the mutt. Wearing their fashionable little bandanas, they sit on the stairs staring and refusing to move as you walk up. Often the golden will have his paws on one step with his body resting behind him on the landing and his head hanging out the window – watching the street vendors as they pass. Sometimes when the Chef’s nanny is about, she’ll pop into the kitchen and these two dogs cannot help venturing in to look for scraps. They are the naughtiest and I love them – even as I’m telling them to get the hell out swinging a leg toward them.
As I spent time making tamale perfection (which I FINALLY think I’ve cracked!!), I watched as three chefs took two whole goats (?? I think) and cut out their loins. It was fascinating and the slowly broke down the different cuts and eventually made it to the tenderloin and perfectly carved it out. One chef was acting as teacher to the other two.
Alas, I moved upstairs for staff meal at 4pm (note I still am so out of breath climbing the stairs – I also get loads of bloody noses – I think I’m quite badly effected by altitude here). I cooked, chatted, texted, and leaned against a wall which felt like heaven! I was serving up Dara’s mother’s chicken stew and rice with flan for dessert. Yum!!!
I then cleaned up and went back down to discover everyone cleaning trout! Admittedly the most delicious trout I’d seen in a while but damn – it meant we didn’t leave until 8pm. Another long day…
Came back up for dinner with the dudes. Normal banter. And I learned that my accent for swear words in Spanish is really funny. Ellian tells me he loves me and then the dishwasher (side note: I’ve never seen anyone wash dishes that quickly!), Marvin, says (in Spanish) “And what do you call him?” pointing at Ellian as I proudly respond “Pendejo”. It’s our bit. (Ellian spent about 10 minutes today trying to teach me how to pronounce pendejo properly which was a failed lesson but a funny one).
Another day in the life.