The Great Hall
anybody out there? The Great Hall: anybody out there?
By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Just wondering if you all made it thru the big V-day. Any record setting nights, anything cool happen? WHAZZUP? The boards been quiet for a week or so.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 10:21 pm: Edit

I catered a party for 14, five courses, and despite all odds, I survived... but more importantly, my employees survived, without me injuring them!

one person showed up 30 minutes late, broke the client's crystal butter dish, (which I didn't realize until I cut my hand on it) and I caught her pouring herself a glass of wine and hiding it. luckily I caught her and made her pour it out before the client smelled it on her breath. And I saw the tumbler, it wasn't a taste.

... although she did bail me out, rolling up her sleeves and cleaning most of the squid while I was occupied doing something else. It's sad, she is (soon to be "was"?) my best worker.

Another guy bragged all night that he could make Spanish rice without needing a recipe, but he screwed it up, even though I gave him one to work from and insisted he use it. Then he broke the client's sink. Broken, as in, can't use it anymore. He snapped off the sprayer/faucet thing where the metal hose attaches to the sprayer. Of course, it's not a kohler or something cheap/easy to replace (the hostess is an interior designer, the host is in high-end home construction)

... although he DID bust his ass to help me when we were running late and manage to get out from the weeds and serve the appetizers on time.

my new years resolution was to look at the bright side of every situation... but I'm having a hard time finding one on this one. There is no way this client is going to re-hire me or refer me now that my staff trashed her kitchen, and I'm just sick to have found one of my favorite workers trying to sneak a drink on the job.

I can forgive the broken sink, as I'm sure he wouldn't break it on purpose. I can excuse the broken butter dish, but not her avoiding telling me...and certainly not sneaking the client's (expensive) wine on the clock.

After paying them, and replacing the broken stuff, I probably won't be making a profit on that job. It's kinda sad, because in the end, all the food turned out great. Several of the guests complimented me and one guy even asked for seconds. SECONDS! one of the biggest compliments I can get!

Thanks for letting me air my dirty laundry.

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 08:06 am: Edit

It was my day off :)

I work in a cafe now anyway... so not much would've been different to usual I'd expect.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 11:42 am: Edit

My transmission broke down last week. My fuel pump also broke down last week. I just had a thermostatic sensor replaced last month. Since I can't afford to hire someone to rebuild-, nor buy a remanufactured one, Valentine's day was spent picking up a used transmission at the junk yard. I'm waiting for the mechanic to install it today.
It's not enjoyable walking around in -20F weather. It's supposed to be between -20F - -30F this weekend with a wind chill factor down to -50F. I remember 10 years ago when it was -57F with no wind chill factor! It's only 3F today. Nonetheless, I'll still need my car to seek work.

Speaking of transmissions, did you ever find a good transmission shop?)

It sounds like you had a bad experience with your crew and that client. That's unfortunate.
Kohlers aren't inexpensive, but they are fairly easy to find. If it was a Kohler, you could get a discounted one at the factory showroom at the end of the year.
If I were still in SoCal, I'd offer to help you, but I'm in the Midwest now.

Congratulations on finding another job. I'm still searching...

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 05:03 pm: Edit

Wow, makes my day sound so...anticlimatic. We just opened a new venture this past Dec. 29 th(an upscale Steakhouse) so this was our first test. The owners being causious only advertised the Friday before and booked only 85 covers. We did 85 covers with only 1 recook. so I felt it went well.
Sorry to hear about both of your misfortunes, our jobs make our lives tough enough without all the extra challenges. Chefjoannam,it sounds like you my have impressed the diners and will surely get business even without the hostess's recomendations. Anytime you get a " my I have more, please" youv'e done yourself proud.
Andapanda, my step dads for Minnesota. All I can do is send my condolences.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Yesterday, I had also lost my car key and 2 pairs of gloves! I've become absent-minded in my middle age. L I had to have a duplicate key made, and I had to go to the locksmith to make it because the hardware store doesn't stock key blanks that old.
"Condolences?!" Hey, I'm not dead yet! Don't you mean "sympathies?" J You get used to cold weather living up here. I mean, I got used to the cold weather, but I never liked the cold weather.
What part of the country are you in now? How is the economy and job market there?

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 11:17 pm: Edit

I thought I was dead but it turned out to be a summer I spent in Minnesota. Never have gotten used to the cold. Heat, now thats a different story, down here in the Great State of Texas we still use our air-conditioning in the middle of Jan. I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth market and you can't throw a stone without hitting a cluster of places to eat( I would say restaurants but many are fast food or quick service. The economy is doing well especially for working chefs. And theres a car dealer on every corner.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 02:09 pm: Edit

Last night, it was -18F, not including wind chill factor. It's supposed to get colder tonight. I was only out for 5 minutes putting the old transmission, and torque convertor in the back of the car(and it left a mess too[expletive deleted]!) and fastening the transmission dipstick cap. My fingers still smart from that brief exposure to the elements!
"A car dealer on every corner," eh? No wonder Chenejaunechef aspires to own his own exotic car dealership. The auto industry is in a downturn worldwide now, and Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the USA.
Didn't you mean the Republic of Texas instead of the State of Texas? I support State Sovereignty anyway. Excuse me for digressing.

According to "Best Jobs for the 21st Century" 3rd ed., by Michael Farr, here is the list of
The 500 Best Overall Jobs(Rankings):

"70. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
93. Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
136. Cooks, Restaurant
142. Food Service Managers
167. Waiters and Waitresses
205. Food Preparation Workers
263. Food Servers, Nonrestaurant
286. First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
315. Bakers
316. Bakers, Bread and Pastry
317. Bakers, Manufacturing
357. Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop
360. Food Science Technicians
432. Chefs and Head Cooks
492. Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria"

I wonder if that influences any aspiring chefs out there?

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 05:04 pm: Edit

And to think back in the 70's and 80's there were so many cooks that if one was let gp or quit there were 10 more waiting at the back door. I still remember my dad asking me in the early 70's why i wanted to be a soda jerk. I quess to his refernce only those who couldn't do anything else then they took the least desired jobs. My my how things have changed in the past 30 years. Now its on the top 500 jobs. Crazy. But to list cefs at 432? They must be crazy, after 31 years in this business I can think of 1000's of jobs more desirable....some days anyway. Well me and my crew are sailing off into another Friday night. See yall later.

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 08:05 am: Edit

I think they mean "celebrity *chef*".

Thanks Andapanda I can't believe your're still searching for work though. As for transportation I'm going through a post-youth-pre-middle age crisis and taking bike lessons and looking to "waste" some of my savings on a new kawasaki, can't get that hill start down on a bike... but Ive made progress 2 weeks ago I couldn't even balance on 2 wheels.

Andapanda I might suggest a bike as your next mode of transportation, cheaper to run (a 250cc like Im looking at) and cheaper to buy outright, wont help you on the cold days though lol.

My GSF-15 (global paring) went "missing" the other day, its either in the bin or it's walked out the door with someone, I just noticed Global make one a bit more shaped for my hand now, the GS-38 so I'm buying one of those and a $2 fibrox paring knife for work. One time my GSF-15 ended wrapped up with a chocolate cake... but sadly its gone for good now.

Tempted to take my japanese knives into work, not worth much, large and stick out like anything also kind of hard to use without practice.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.