Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holy Shit moment #1 + the new job

This past week I've had a couple Holy Shit moments. This covers the first one and since it has to do with the new job I can tie the two together.

Work at the Grille has been okay so far. I haven't really done much. I mean, we're not open yet so in retrospect there's not much prep work that needs to be done. Scratch that. This past Tuesday was a practice day for both servers and cooks so some food got cooked, Wednesday was "Friends and Family night" then we had VIP events Thursday and Friday. So yeah food did get cooked, but not in the quantities that they will get cooked once the Grille opens. So even though I did go in, there wasn't much to do by the time I got there. Which brings up a scary flashback to Graydon's of me exasperatedly standing around being told to find something to do and not knowing what.

The bright side of that is Chef Ray totally picked up that I have a bit of a deer in headlights complex with being there. I mean I made it clear I haven't worked in a restaurant in about 3 years. Likewise he also realized that for about 3 days he had me come in when there's been nothing to do and I think he did feel kind of bad. So he promises I'll get more hours when we get busier.

Otherwise the people I work with seem to be pretty nice. Ironically despite being a prep cook I've mostly worked nights and have started to get to know the night time guys. Although I think my normal hours are supposed to be mornings on the weekends and then one night a week. So its going to be a bummer not getting to work with them as much (although I'm sure the daytime crew is pretty cool too.) So yeah, that's that.

The holy shit moment came when we were having a little kitchen meeting before working on my first day. Both Chef Jim (the executive chef) and Chef Ray (who I thought was the Executive chef, but I guess isn't) were both talking about what places they worked and their history and what not. But anyway, Chef Jim has mostly done corporate chef jobs but has more prominently done work at the McCormick Place and the Sears Tower at Chicago. According to him, nothing beats doing a 3 banquets for like a million people in 24 hours. Chef Ray, has previously worked up at Tapawingo in the Northern part of Michigan. But here's the kicker, in the past he's also worked at Trio under Grant Achatz and at the French Laundry. Seriously, it can't get more epic than that. I mean despite what you think about the restaurants, those are like two of the most highly acclaimed chef's in the country. And my boss used to work for them.

At first I had a bit of a breakdown. I mean, here I am, a person who to all extents and purposes isn't very experienced. And I got a job at what if probably going to be Grand Rapids next best restaurant. But then it hit me something that was said at orientation. That we were hired just as much for our personalities as we were for our experience. So if Chef Ray saw potential in me, then who am I to doubt it. I have my chance, now I just have to work my ass off so I don't fuck it up.

Cheers to that.

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