The Engine Room - Part 2

"The grumble of the electronic monster spewing endless tickets is a sound I will never forget" Anonymous 2006

The clock counts down, every second is timed.... The Show is about to start!

Prayers are said under hushed breaths. Perspiration glistening on the temples.

"Have I done all my prep?"

A question that brings fear to even the hardened of us. For should we fall short, the heat emanating from an oven as you open the door at 180 degrees Celsius is nothing compared to the grilling you will receive come the end of the night.

The curtain rises and the first ticket arrives. A small order, that passes through the kitchen like a knife through butter. These are the ones that are dangerous, they can slip through the cracks when the pressure is on and in the end, can cause the most damage.

The feeling of excitement builds, conversation is minimal as each cast member rehearses their steps in their heads. Steel-cap toes two steps to the left for an effortless grasp of the glinting knives. Two steps back to be on center. Gentle bend of the hips to ignite the fires at your belly.

The silence is broken, the electronic monster has awoken and is starting to spew. The heat is on....... Oh wait! No! That's your jacket that has just caught alight as you leaned closer to your station in anticipation. 

As Act One has only just started and your turn to shine is still waiting in the wings, a swift cloth-covered hand to the affected area deftly deals with the flame, the smell is unpleasant and the searing pain starts to burn through the adrenalin, but now is not the time to cry, shout or scream. Now is the time to listen to the conductor as he screams your name for the third time.

As Murphy (Law) would have it, over half the orders are for you and you have just doused the fire, the time to reignite it under you has fluttered by and the daggers coming from the Conductor on the pass, stab into you like pin pricks on that new blister you have acquired.

As your mind spins into action, the well-rehearsed movements of hands and fingers take control. Ingredients are effortlessly tossed into white hot pans, meat sizzles, as the raw flesh graces the griddle on red hot coals. 

The temperature in the kitchen rises, pearls of perspiration are constantly wiped away before pools are created on counter tops.

Choice words fly around like the Opera reaching its boiling point. 

Plates of visual and taste-tingling masterpieces are passed from hand to hand towards the Conductor at the pass. With delicate hands, drops of rich sauce are gleaned from the rims and sculptures of garnish are perfectly placed.

The stage goes quiet, there is no sound of applause.

The anticipation of waiting, waiting to see if the electronic monster will spit just one more out, teasing you.

As the warm down begins, silence prevails. Bones are creaky, wounds are smiled upon and cleaned again.

Just wait for me and find out what happens at the after-party.

For we do not sleep while others do......

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