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Nearly at the end of February and approx. 5 weeks since I started my “extra” work at the franco-japanese restaurant in Paris. Well tonight, for the first time, I felt as though I was part of the “machine” and that I had finally started to “feel” the rhythm of the service…..and the really good thing is that I was also able to be in touch with the food…that is, choose the attractive fillets of Black Cod and colour them nicely in the hot sesame seed oil before finishing them in the oven, cook the Scallops so that they’re nicely coloured on the “presentation” side and still soft in the centre…..

It really is quite some time since I have felt this, and bugger me if it doesn’t feel good ! I was “dancing” again tonight.

When working in a professional kitchen, the 2 most important things are

  • work quickly and get things on the “pass” (or complete your prep work) in the time required
  • cook the produce “correctly”
  • The second point is maybe obvious, but in my brief experience, the basic “currency” in the kitchen is be able to work quickly and efficiently. This is where you gain (or lose) respect in the kitchen amongst your peers. Deal with the unexpected quickly and efficiently. Have a “Plan B” and a “Plan C” when things go “tits up”. Know your products in your set-up / mise en place so that you know how to take short-cuts when things aren’t going to plan.

    Anticipation, keeping a cool head and listening are also key aspects of being able to cook food for a living.

    Anyway, tonight I felt as though I was much more in control of the service than ever before, even if I still missed certain things that the chef called out when announcing the order…….I said a “good night” and not a “perfect” one !

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