Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First night - Private Party for American Express


Chef - "you know where you're supposed to start?"
Me - "Oui, Chef!"
Measuring out the ingredients for another triple batch of creme Anglaise - for the vanilla ice cream.

This entails separating 54 eggs.  And every time he walked past me and watched what I was doing, I'd go extra careful - and promptly mess up and break the yolk.  And get some yolk into the white.  which ruins meringue. 

I'm definitely the least experienced person on the team.  And everyone is well aware of the fact.  They're treating me nicely (for now).  Thankfully I was prepared today with my own knives (thanks Marty).  And got schooled by Chef on how to walk in the kitchen with a knife.  I got a lot of schooling today.  Which is good - I'm learning.  As they say on the ski slopes - if you're not falling, you're not learning anything - and will probably not improve.

I went to move a cookie sheet out of the way.  with my bare hands.  "Yeow! Hot" - Chef looked at me with a half smile.  I seem to amuse him.  I listen. I observe.  Some of the lessons are quickly being put into use.  I have been manically cleaning up in the kitchen at the house where I'm staying now. 

I'm shucking oysters.  I've never shucked oysters before in my life. 
Sam: "so before you put the oyster into the bowl, smell it to make sure it is still fresh"
Me: "um - is this right?"
Sam: "you've never had fresh oyster before"
Me: "not really - it's not something I ever order"
Sam: "try it!"
Me: "uh - no, it's ok - thanks"
We thought we were done, and had cleaned up the station when Chef walked by and said there's a second box. 
Ludo (looking at me): "why are you working on this - have you ever done this before?"
Me (eagerly & proudly): "I just learned, Chef!"
he didn't have anything to say to that except shrug and say ok and walk off to the next thing.  Though when I saw Elodie (the one i've been assisting yesterday & today) working on halving the peaches for dessert, I promptly switched tasks since 4 people shucking oysters was excessive. 

Chef is waiting by the KitchenAid mixer waiting for a batch of cream to whip up.  I was just cleaning up the same station since we'd finished assembling the tarts.  I felt the weight of his stare on me.  Of course i was turning red and began fumbling.  I looked up and told him "you know you totally intimidate me, right Chef?"  He said not to worry and that by this time next week I'll be having dreams about him.  Hah - I should have told him about those terror nightmares I had during that week before my interview - like the one where I was screaming and woke myself up screaming...

if he only knew. 

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