I can’t believe It’s been almost three weeks (19 days) since I took off from Heathrow!
Today was a great day. Only 12 hours and so chilled.
We had a short “to do list” and an extra intern who arrived today.
The intern is 33 (wahoo another “oldie”) with plenty of experience at Central (Lima, Peru) and some famous bakery in Switzerland (it’s very common for chefs to come and work unpaid for a certain time at another restaurant for either experience or in search of a job). He’s very quiet so far and efficient – I like him already, especially if he eases the workload! In briefing when he was asked to introduce himself, I was so impressed when he confidently stepped forward and gave his name, where he was from, his culinary training and thanked everyone in advance for what he would learn.
The highlight of my day was when I made not 1 but apparently 11 acceptable tamales almost without any instruction. I delivered the tamales to the service kitchen and had some nice banter with the guys downstairs and even chatted back to this slightly terrifying, curly-haired, senior chef. He actually called me over with a crooked finger and told me I needed to make my hair less whispy for fear of fallen hairs (which I did immediately with a quick dab of water) I apologised to him and the sous chef (a lady sous chef!) but smiled enough to make them both laugh and ask me when I was coming down to work in the service kitchen (I will be hopefully moved at some point from the prep kitchen to service) – to which I responded “Ahora?” (Now?) which made them grin.
I also got to pop out the the shops for some last minute staff meal items. On the journey I had a cheeky, deep fried empanada from a street stall outside of the supermarket. I was !delicious! and a scarfed it down while walking with 5 litres of liquid and 3 kg of potatoes. That’s what I call motivated multi-tasking!
Back in the prep kitchen, one of the chefs spent about 20 minutes explaining his theory on the best way to cook a steak.
And I love this week’s dishwasher, Marvin. He is insanely fast and speaks no English and loves correcting my Spanish and teaching me new words. Sometimes I just go over to the sink to help him and chant “rapido, rapido” and watch him wash about 1 dish per second. He hands them to me and I rinse off the soap at about half the pace.
Marvin (and many of the waiters, sommelier etc) call all the girls “baby” which is somehow strangely endearing. If someone called me “baby” at home I would cringe and think it condescending but here it feels so warm and kind with absolutely no creepy or sexist undertones.
It was a fabulous day.
After staff meal, I unbuttoned my chefs jacket and discovered that, in my early morning haze, I had put on not one but TWO t-shirts… how is that even possible?! I guess I’m not a morning person after all…
Anyway, I spent my early finish today watching about 2 hours of Netflix and doing nothing should do (aside from buying hairspray to get rid of the whispy hair!). Better go off and crack on with washing my 3 dirt jackets, aprons and towels in my sweet and very old school Airbnb wash basin.