What a crazy week!
I got the new recipe for the new tart - the Choucroute Tarte Flambe. With it came a whole slew of new responsibilities. And a very valuable lesson:
Joon: "never trust anyone in the kitchen."
What Joon was telling me was more of a guidance of not relying on anyone else - be sure you know your own inventory, and know what you need. I had been relying on Elodie too much for my own good. But now that she left for France, it's up to me to be sure I get my one dish done. And help out with desserts when I can.
Rosanna joined the team on Tuesday to take over desserts from Elodie. As they worked together on getting the recipes down, I was learning the components of my new recipe.
I still start the day in Doughville
next I have to slice 5 pounds of Russian Fingerling Potatoes into thin coins on the Mandolin (yes, I already skinned my knuckle on it). Rinse well, pat dry - then sautee them in clarified butter... Pommes Sautee a la cru. It takes me forever to sautee 5 pounds of potato coins - so I've been moved to using the plancha.
Some time in between, I need to cook the bacon & slice onions... and make the creme melange (with mustard). And be ready with my "Mise en Place" by 5:30.
Well - this is how it went:
Tuesday: I got help from Elodie - and the tarts were fine - no snafus.
Wednesday: Miserable. I still hadn't taken charge of the inventory for my recipe, or the techniques for getting it all assembled. But I tried to get it all done on my own... Somehow I still earned the scornfull wrath of Chef. It was Elodie's last day (sad face). I also left in tears. Next stop, The Burgundy Room for a much needed drink and hugs from friends.
Thursday: I was so nervous and anxious about getting everything done, that I over-prepared the components for the Mise-en-Place, leaving me with plenty of extra for Friday. I knew what ingredients needed to be ordered, and put them on the shopping list in time. We also had a full house in the kitchen with extra interns who were helping with the tarts. I found myself standing around with nothing to do.
Friday: We were short-handed in the back kitchen. It was just Joon (3 different entrees), Rosanna (3 desserts & an appetizer), me (Choucroute Tarte Flambe - and helping out Rosanna & Joon). I had a bit of help from Sabel to get a few tarts assembled before service started... but then she had to go to the front to help Grace, Sam & Greg. And you know what happened? Everything went right!
Chef: Sharon! How many tarts do you have in ze oven?
me: 2 chef!
Chef: ?? (confused for a moment)
me: one that's on order, and one is par-baking
Chef: ok, good. Well done, Sharon.
No mistakes... well, one slight mistake of a torn crust - that I gave to Mike (owner of Gram & Papas)... but no missed orders, no late orders, and I had just the right amount of ingredients for the Mise en Place. And after the appetizers were done, Rosanna & I helped Joon. When desserts were being ordered, I helped Rosanna. And then the appetizers again... Just the 3 of us back there - we worked well together... no time to just stand around twiddling our thumbs - we were constantly moving. And to see Joon work - it's like a well-choreographed dance.
Best. Night. Ever.