I’m the office manager at Restaurant ECHO, so I end up having quite a mixed bag of responsibilities, tasks and (okay, okay) fun. The blog was my idea, and I think it’s time I take a bigger bite of the job of blogging. I’m not entirely sure what kind of content I can regularly generate, but I’m willing to think creatively (and take my lumps). I’m also a more newly-minted restaurant person. I continue to make comparisons to the offices and corporations of my previous work experience. Some of it holds; some of it doesn’t.
Like many of you, I’m a consumer of food and (sometimes) the Food Network. A big part of their appeal seems to be the behind-the-scenes operations of creating food, especially in restaurants. We have one of those. I get to see the behind-the-scenes operations every day.
When chefs arrive, they get dressed and start the business of preparing their stations (sauté, grill, garde manger, etc.). This involves physically checking the station, butchering meat, preparing sauces, chopping vegetables, and verifying that every part of the station is ready for service. It involves a lot of list-making and checking-off. And it’s scored with the daily flavor of music, which yesterday was the Mumford & Sons channel on Pandora or Spotify (I forget which one). Mumford & Sons is a little mellow for us; you’re more apt to hear 1980s Michael Jackson or 1990s metal.
At this time of day, I like the energy in the air.
It’s not like office energy – typing or answering a ringing phone. It’s an energy that nudges each of my senses. My ears hear rhythmic chopping, sudden laughs and music. My eyes see bright colors and stark reality – a bucket of peppers or a pile of salmon heads, ready for compost. My skin feels the warmth and humidity of the room itself. My nose loses and wins at this time of day… I win when french onion soup is bubbling away and I get a whiff. I lose when the onions are being peeled.
Tasting is the strangest part of working in a restaurant. The chefs around me really love food and the process of cooking it. And any food I eat makes their work harder and their days longer.
Today I have canned soup.