Is work supposed to be this fun?

I’m not sure I’m supposed to be having this much fun at work, the ticket machine doesn’t seem to be stopping and in the zone. I’m sautéing 4 pans at once, I have the sides for 5 Ahi in one, 3 Salmon in another, 4 Rib Eye and 3 Lamb Roasts – fire is spiting out of my pan threatening to light my towel up as I flip green beans, spinach and other random stuff I need to keep track of so I don’t get low on any of my hot sides.

I’m supposed to be reading tickets, but all I see is that the 9 top is fired, my mind is racing, where the heck are my shitake’s for the Ahi, shit I have to run to the walk in and chop quickly to get em in before the bok choy and enoki mushrooms are cooked through. I’m hearing orders on call, orders fired and still other people telling me that my risotto is burning.

It looks like a mess, but in my head it’s all working out, I’m sweating buckets, I’m not speaking to anyone and I just refrained from yelling at a lady who’s free bread was cold complaining while we are 10 tickets deep in the middle of the dinner rush. It seems like 35 people sat down at the same time and actually ordered something besides a burger. Did I tell you that I restaurants like mine hate having a burger on the menu, we want to be selling lamb racks and veal chops and we have to have that freaking burger up there – frummies come in and nurse that one burger for 3 hours – hogging tables and making the cooks into bigger anti-Semites than they already are.

Not one burger on the 9 top, 4 Ahi, 2 Salmon, one lamb roast, one chicken tajine and a rib eye – I can tell instantly if they are frummies – if they order burgers and steak well done or medium well – we all know “they’re your people” is what the sous chef likes to tell me when a table of 10 sits down and orders burnt burgers with sauce on the side. What does it matter, tonight is super busy and feel like I’m getting it, this happened when I was on the cold side, when I was doing apps, salads and deserts – there was one night when I was slammed for 3 hours straight and actually pulled through without falling behind or having any orders sent back – I felt like a king and knew then and there that I was going to be a cook. Tonight reiterated that the sad fact that despite my families wishes, I will not be making it rich for a long time – cooks don’t do it for the money, they do it because they love food and the thrill of cooking on a busy line is like no other I’ve experienced.

We didn’t do too many covers tonight, maybe 60 or so, but since it all happened between 6 and 8pm it felt like a ton more. No one complimented me or anything, but there was this one point where I needed to sauté two different pans with each of my hands at once, I felt super cool to be flipping my sides and keeping them in the pans while I sauted with both left and right hands – so cool and I’m not afraid of the random spurts of flames anymore, which are usually the result of throwing wine and then catching the flame mid flip.

Despite receiving a $90 parking ticket in SF earlier in the day, I thought the day couldn’t get any better and yet it did – I love work – but this was a new high for me, coupled with the fact that a good friend of mine had a last minute layover in San Francisco today, I also learned another very dear friend is going to visiting in a couple of weeks and I have been talking with another large Jewish publication of writing my own blog within their site – I feel really blessed and hope I can somehow show my hakaras hatov to the Lord – although I’m not sure how.

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