Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why was i spared?

Carl's pissed.

I haven't caught the end of any of his icy stares. Haven't had to answer him directly all day. He did call us the 'b-team' but that's just a gimme'.

Coasted through the afternoon's prep' because ignorance is of course: bliss.

So , while some things changed the two days I spent in class, I'm  already seeing the light.

I'm turning laps between the printer, the reach in, the low-boy, our makeshift hot-app' section, ( an induction burner next to an icy 400' with some mise') and the convection oven in the back. These moves are simple, this eighteen year old version of myself is limber and nimble as ever, no sweat.

How the hot-line dudes might be faring, I have no clue. I'm still in that self-centered-teenage phase and cant spare a second helping our my brethren even when it might help me indirectly as I'll see later.

[Well, maybe I'll grab a container full of snapper or some herbs for them every once in a while.]

Then the link breaks off.

In one of my ballistic peeks into my reach-in inventory I catch a glance of the soufflé stock.

I've got two left and it's eight o' clock.

We've obviously doubled up the size of the souffle in the past week. My station partner made a batch earlier for sure. Excuses accounted for, it's still looking like I'm toast. I'm gonna run out of soufflé.

To trip this cue is surely death.

In the five seconds since opening the refrigerator door I've now entered mental deliberation over how I'm gonna deal with this. I can : come clean and get reamed or play it coy, hope for the best and see if i can wait out the service?

I say 'FUCK IT' - somehow i've figured i've got nothing to lose.

I throw some butter in a pan and get that roux moving. Justin gets a look at what I'm doing - he understands the situation instantly and while we lock eyes he says 'uh oh'.

Thanks man.
this photo is shot in 2013, so things haven't changed much for this item.

I drop that milk into the roux, throw it into low heat. Plate a caesar, separate the eggs, throw down on some beets , toss some point-reyes into roux, pull it, and run to the walk in and start whipping.

I whip the average bowl of whites in record time, alone in the cold.

It's 2007, I haven't gotten a hold of youtube yet, haven't spent hours listening to a Roger Taylor kick drum, haven't taken up juicing full-time, barely exercise. I'm still a lanky, near autistic strand of life. Hair's super long and out of place for the restaurant I'm at.  The current state of affairs means that if it weren't for my first-hand familiarity with the recipe, the taste in my mouth would be 100% despair!

If anyone opens the walk-in, i'm exposed and the boss is gonna lose it!

But I make it out in record time, fold yolks, then the whites into the roux and toss that mix into the walk in while I butter and flour ramekins like i'm stressed or something.

The soufflés make it in the oven. But I've been running around for the better part of ten minutes. So...everyone already knows I'm fucked.

In fact, since i was in the walk in, my station partner already told people we're running out of soufflé.

Pretty soon i get the question "hey, Rake. Where are you!?"

"Just cooking up some soufflé"

"Fuck man, cmon".

I somehow missed a verbal lashing.

I'm stressed but the souffle's been in for a bit, I'm home free.

I send away those lost two soufflés, scratch a couple more salads, a few apps. I get that ticket for a four-top where two people need some blue-cheese soufflé.

Carl's eyes shift to our section again, and we wait out those babies cooking. No one's opened the oven door yet.

Six minutes later, it's show time. Barry, Rachel, and I peer around one of my freshly baked. Rachel pops it out of the ramekin easily, it's solid, light, fluffy, nutty.

She sets it gingerly on a square plate. It's a premium soufflé , identical to any that were labored over for an extended twenty-minutes.

"Jesus man, you gotta go know how many of those you need!"

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