One of the ways that chefs stay sane in the kitchen is to find humor and memories among the produce, proteins and processes which are all a part of the final product. Perhaps it is that, no matter how exciting the day is chopping up Spanish onions and trimming tenderloins or portioning tuna is, the need to still socialize and stay excited is in us all. That beyond the walls of the kitchen there is hope of another world that will once allow the kitchen staff to be normal people. Eat at normal times, sleep at normal times and spend more time getting fresh air in the daylight than at dark. Then again, there is a reason that we all choose this profession, a reason that binds us all together in this crazy industry. If we ever figure that out, we'll be the first to share. In the meantime, we want to give you a peak into our dysfunctional world we call work.
There is always a fall back joke for each person in the kitchen. A quote said or experience had that stays with a person for the entire time they are with their kitchen family. Here is one we, the staff, can share.....
Clark always has a thing about lemons.......
You see, the process of being most efficient in a kitchen, goes like this:
1. Get apron and clean towels
2. Set up cutting board
3. Get out knives
4. Fresh ramekin of Kosher salt
5. Newly ground pepper in another clean ramekin
6. Gather ingredients for project(s) .."the shopping trip"
During this "shopping trip", one will grab as many items as possible prior to returning, while being as efficient as possible. ....Get large bowl on way to walk-in (refrigerator) to grab cabbage, ginger, carrots, scallions (don't forget the crabmeat). Put all items in bowl, then pick up dried bread cubes in deep 1/3rd pan on the way through the pantry, on the way back up the stairs to your station; don't forget the two pounds of butter.
Phew, you made it! The overflowing bowl of produce on your hip stays put until just the last second.....defying logic, as the person coming around the corner with a HOT pan filled with risotto on its way to the cooler to cool down, misses knocking you over by just a hair, despite the "hot stuff" warning barely heard from around the corner. You crash land all your ingredients at your station. Oh darn, you forgot the lemons!!!
This is the scenario that Chef Clark refuses to let happen anymore. Regardless of the project, he now always grabs a plethora of lemons (instead of the two that he'll need, he grabs 6). This has been coined "Clark's security lemons".
Yes, it is true, this phrase has given us hours of enjoyment and reason to go on. Now you know, welcome to our world.
Yours in freshness,