Sunday, July 31, 2011

I've Got A Big Black Coq on my Chest!

not only is it a big black coq - it's shouting and wielding a knife! 
Never underestimate the importance of maintaining good eye-contact.  It makes the speaker feel like he is being listened to - and earnestly. 

My friends say I have an "aura of calm" about me... I help ease the tension in the room, and people feel reassured and comforted - things will be OK.  

Perhaps this is why Chef Ludo kept speaking to me during our orientation... Seriously - it felt like he was looking at me more than anyone else!  or maybe it was because I was sitting directly opposite him - so he just needed to look straight ahead? 

or maybe he was thinking "why did I hire this girl?" <--- nah.  

He knows me by name... he knows all of us by name (there aren't too many of us)... he is really that friendly and approachable!  well, we haven't started anything yet... Monday is our first day of prep.  Tuesday is a private party. Wednesday is the first official day of the restaurant.

It takes some people months to open a restaurant.  This one will happen in about 4 days.  Granted he's piggy-backing onto Gram & Papa's - an existing restaurant in the fashion district in Downtown Los Angeles.  A place that is full of people by day, and desolate at night.  Most diners will be thinking to themselves "are we really in the right place?"

So I have 2 t-shirts, and on Monday I'll be getting an apron and those kick-ass shoes (happy birthday to me)! 

What's on the menu?  Oh I can't ruin the surprise... We haven't even tasted anything yet... Let's just say, it's gonna be adventurous, inventive, playful and delicious. 


work clean!

know the inventory

label everything

clean up

know the fridge

stay organized

clean up.

did I mention that he likes everything clean and organized?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Little Hands"

Ludo calls his kitchen helpers his "little hands".  Starting Saturday July 30th, I'll be in training as a pair of "little hands".

I'm not sure if this link is available worldwide, or only in the U.S.  but here's a clip of who i'll be working for...  he's a funny guy...

He does have a show currently airing on the Sundance Channel called Ludo Bites America.  You might be able to watch episodes online...

One thing for sure - we get these sporty new kicks, a t-shirt and an apron.  more pics to come soon... And I have to get one of these books and get it autographed!  Uh-oh - that means more stuff to ship to Barcelona. 

The red ones on the left are the ones i'll have.  sorry for the crap picture.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"you're so random"

Yes, I suppose it's true. 

That quote was blurted out by my friend Liza, who I graduated from UCLA with.  I had this great book (in Russian) about the artist Aubrey Beardsley that I'd borrowed from her way back when we were in school together.  I needed to return it to her before I left town for good.

We hadn't seen each other in years, so obviously there was a lot of catching up to do. 

L - "when are you moving to Spain?"
S - "after my internship ends - sometime after September 10th"
L - "internship? what internship"
S - "I'll be interning at a temporary restaurant"
L - "you're so random!"

Now would I really delay my return to Spain for just any restaurant?  You must know that this has to be something big to make me want to change my plans.  This is for Chef Ludo, and his insanely popular LudoBites - this one is version 007.  It was random.  I "liked" his Facebook fan page - and within a week, there was a post that they were looking for their staff for their next incarnation. 

So I sent my resume - with a cover letter saying I have no experience. 

I got a call.

I got a second call the next day scheduling me for an interview the following Friday.

Interviewing for an unpaid internship... WTF?  Why?  Well, it's for Chef Ludo!  This guy:
Moments after i took this picture, he grabbed his iPhone and pretended to take a picture of me. 
 This was the menu for last year's 5.0 - our table of 4 ordered a mix of  and we all sampled a little bit of each dish.  This was my first introduction to Pork Belly.  I became an instant fan.  None have come close to touching this version.  We only ordered about 6 or 7 items off the menu.  But if my budget (and belly) would have allowed for it, I'd have tried everything.  And come back for more the next day.

 LudoBites 5.0 which I was lucky enough to go to last year. 
 I try not to make a habit of taking pictures of food in restaurants, but I felt left out as the rest of the girls in our party were snapping away, not letting me dig in - so i took a picture too. 
caramel souffle...
Now can you see why I jumped at the chance to take this internship?  Culinary School? for amateurs.  I'll be learning under a world class 5 star Chef with a capital "C".

How did the interview go? I thought wife Krissy was doing all the interviews.  No - she did half of them. 

(in a heavenly French accent) "Hi, I'm Ludovic, it's a pleasure to meet you" (reaches hand out)
Me: (shakes his hand) (nod) (hand him my resume).

Nice start!  Can't even say "hello".

At least the rest of the interview went OK.  And then... the waiting game.

Until finally I get this email on Wednesday July 6th. 

Hi Sharon,
              This is Brad from ludobites.  It was great to meet you last friday. I wanted to let you know that Chef Ludo would like to offer you a stage postion at Ludobites 007. We are very excited to have you part of the team.  I wanted to give you a heads up of how the first week looks so far. Saturday the 30th of july will be the first day where we will be moving into gram and papas and start prepping during the day.  We will also be prepping on sunday during the day and on monday. I believe Chef is going to have you work with him prepping tuesday through friday that first week during the day probably from 11-6.  The schedule is not set in stone yet but wanted to kind of give you an idea.  Thanks again Sharon and if you have any questions feel free to contact me. See you on saturday the 30th
"Chef is going to have you work with him..."  

I haven't been this happy and excited about working for someone for free since i interned at 106.7 KROQ-FM back in '94-'95.  That was a pretty bad-ass internship - I got to see lots of shows for free.

But I'm all about food now.  This is right up my alley.  And I'll be able to sample the whole menu! And learn from an awesome Chef (with a capital C).

The girl is back in Los Angeles, and making the most of the time that is left here in the City of Angels.  My flight has been reserved, and I'll return to Spain September 20th.  In the meantime... happy cooking!