We started our training four days after we arrived.
I was assigned to be at the egg/omelette station (along with Thamae, a friend) at the buffet breakfast of La Bella Vita, a casual dining restaurant at The Sagamore Hotel at Bolton Landing, NY. And since I’m on the breakfast shift, my usual call time is at 5am and I am having such a hard time getting up for I am not really a morning person. On the first week of work, I was supposed to report at the kitchen at four; having to get up at two in the morning to prepare for work is such a struggle for me. Back in the Philippines, my usual “sleeping time” is around two (with or without classes the next day), and sometimes I could even last until six. Here and now, I try to get as much sleep as I possibly can because I don’t want to feel all groggy at work. Just now starting to appreciate the value of a full night’s sleep; makes a hell of a difference, I must say.
Before the buffet opens at seven, I spend 1-2 hours inside the kitchen to help in preparing the buffet menu (such as the bacon, pancakes, sausages, veggies needed for the egg bar etc.) The head chef of La Bella Vita AM, John, calls me his “Bacon girl” for I am in charge of the bacons every morning. I just have to knock up 40-50 trays of bacons, no big deal. I honestly didn’t want that job because I get 1-3 burns every freaking time! But I have no choice; I have to do every thing he asks me to whether I like it or not. He’s the boss and I have no right to complain.
I remember there’s this one time I woke up feeling thrilled (which is very unusual!), then I told myself to keep the good mood throughout the entire shift/day because I know it could help me do my tasks in a satisfactory manner. So I didn’t let anything spoil my morning; I tried to brush off the flimsy stuff that might mess up my mood. And gladly at the end of my shift, I realized I did really well that day. 🙂 I am so proud and oh-so happy! I wish to wake up every morning feeling that way because it is good to start the day with a happy spirit!
But just last week, I was late for an hour at work. That day started off TERRIBLY. I arrived at the kitchen at exactly six and pretended I didn’t know what my schedule was (stupid reason).. I said I thought I was supposed to report at six because that was my schedule the past two days and I unfortunately overlooked my schedule for that day. Still and all, John got mad and really disappointed at me. I couldn’t blame him though, it was a Friday. And things are getting pretty busy before and during weekends, which means I should not come to work late.
Later that day, while I was cutting up some carrots for the pasta salad, my knife accidentally slid of the carrot and went directly to my middle finger. I got a deep(-ish) cut and it hurt and bled awfully. But I did see that coming, I knew that would happen. That is actually the reason why I despise carrots so much.. I ALWAYS end up getting a cut from cutting them. Hassle kaya pag nahiwa ka! Any way, I still have 10 fingers so there’s really nothing much to worry about. 😉
I like it more at the Egg bar; I might have failed flipping my omelettes a hundred times already but I like it so much more when I’m out there. I’m fine with cooking eggs for months, I swear I could even last for a year. Kidding aside. My parents didn’t spend so much for this international internship for me to just learn how to perfectly flip eggs. But you know.. it is fun when you get to interact with guests face-to-face unlike when you’re in the kitchen. I didn’t expect to feel that way though for I was born an introvert. But as each day passes, I find (directly) getting along with them somehow pleasing.
Anyhow nothing’s going to change the fact that you get to learn so much more when you’re inside the kitchen. That is how it should be anyway; learning and having fun at the same time. But with John as the head chef? Hmm……. I’ll think about it. If I get a good feedback from him on my PEF (performance evaluation sheet) at the end of the month then I might start calling him a legend.
Seriously though, I do think he’s a good chef. He might have scolded me a couple of times already but I cannot deny that he really is a good teacher. I will make a conclusion about everything in six months. I don’t want to jinx my current views and opinions about my “boss” and my “job”; John might start being rude to me and I might start FAIL-ipping my eggs for the duration of this training. I hope not!
But so far, I am liking it here. (It’s not like I have a choice to quit-and-go-back-to-the-Philippines or anything) No “dreadful” experience/s yet, thank goodness. Bad luck lang talaga minsan, but that’s fine! We all (have to) go through bad circumstances at times for us to learn something from it. Pero move on din right after, no need to mull over the not-so-good incident/your mistake. Nakakabother kaya, at ang pangit sa pakiramdam non! Ah basta, I am hoping for a good luck until my last day at work. I want to do well in the course of this training; I want to learn a lot of things in terms of Culinary and life lessons as well. I am very open to new experiences, especially those things that could make me a fully-grown and a better person in the future.