Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Restaurant Biz - Day Three

It was a Tuesday. It was dead. If I worked for anyone else and worked with anyone else that would be the end of today's post. But, I don't. Last night, the owner was working (the other two nights, it was his head chef, so this was the first time I'd gotten to work with him). I walk in to a "you hungry?" He'd made this bountiful bowl of pasta with cilantro, peppers, veggies, and on...all topped with melted cheese and goat's milk. Well, I hadn't had dinner yet and, never one to turn down home made food, I chowed down on this damn good grub and shot the shit with him for awhile. Found out how he got into the restaurant business (musician for a very popular band in the 70's who toured 6 months a year and worked restaurant work the other 6, as he could just split when the touring came again) and had a lengthy discussion with him about the glories of simple, well-made food (he had a book on Parisian cooking with a recipe for beef topped with fried shallots and a side of fries that he pointed to. "See, you have this wonderful dish and it's served with fries. *That's* what good food is all about. You don't have to stack it and make it a work of art. I don't want people to play with my food.") Truly, he loves what he makes. Every order that came in, he'd get it together, with me watching, and ask me "Have you ever tried this one? Oh, I tell you, you'll leave your wife for this dish, it's sooo good."

As the night wore on, a few more people showed up, but honestly, the extent of my real work that day was a few dishes and running up to pick up supplies at the grocery store. Eventually, the place died again and the owned pulled out of a bottle of Margaritas for the three of us to drink. I say, I think I can get to like this! He then saw a friend of his who he hasn't seen in a good number of years come in and spent the latter part of the evening sitting with him, while the other employee (the one who was actually getting paid) talked about food and did dishes.

I'm heading back on Friday. It will probably be my busiest day yet. I'm hoping to actually throw a few tortillas on that evening, but we'll see.