The Engine Room - Part 1

"It takes a certain mentality to work in a restaurant kitchen, a certain finesse and a mind in the gutter to keep you sane".

The pots and pans clanging together are the symphony introduction to the Opera of the shift to come. There is something quite peaceful about it.

Photo by Adam Dachis on Unsplash
Photo by Adam Dachis on Unsplash
As the Waiters run their own shows on the Front end, the real show happens in the back and only the select few are privileged enough to view this show nightly.

The rehearsals are daily, starting at the crack of dawn as the hard-knuckled, burnt, broken and rebuilt Head Chef arrives. The rest of the cast arrive, each in their own state of repair from the night before.

"We work while others play
and we play while others sleep"
The clicking of kettles fill the air, stirring up the water in preparation for the settling of emotions. The sound of shuffling feet growing louder as the cast find their foot grooves, readying themselves for the back and forth dance that is to come.

The silent hum of the extraction kicks in, for a moment you hear it and then it disappears deep down into the sub-conscious mind. The gentle sounds of the kitchen become blurred as the orchestra starts the warm up.

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash
Routine is the order of the day with a good sprinkling of guile and finesse. Fresh produce is washed, dried and sliced with the precision of a surgeon on his off day. Succulent cuts of meat are effortlessly sculptured, packed and told to chill.

As the Head Chef walks through, conducting each section, a sense of calm prevails - all will be good. The "Five P Principle" firmly guides each cast member - Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

FIFO (no not Fifa) lends a hand to the crisp movement of stock - First In, First Out.

"A car does not work without its engine, unless of course you are The Flinstones and the "HP" stands for "Human Power"

As midday approaches, the cast know that this is the final dress rehearsal for the day. Lunch is the time to iron out the kinks, put the final touches of pointed toes and non-slip steel capped shoes in the right places and get the mind in gear.

Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

For when you get the idea that the afternoon will be there to catch-up on a mindless activity, you blink and suddenly you are scurrying around looking for that whisk that was just there a minute ago. Choice words flying through your mind like a minion high on coffee
Time is a relative term, for in the heat of the moment two minutes feels like ten minutes, but it is those thirty seconds that makes the difference between good and perfect.
Time for a break is relative as well, as it is the two minutes that you steal while on your way to collecting the vital ingredient that is conveniently located further than five steps from your station. A criminal feeling of guilt passes through you as you become a thief of your own time and it feels good.

It is almost time for the real show to start, will you be there to witness it.....

Just wait for me and find out......

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