Saturday, June 15, 2013

Knocked Down A Peg

I suppose it was going to happen at some point.

I've been cheffing solo (okay, with a sous-chef every now and then) for about two and a half months now...and honestly, things have been going really well.  I mean, really well.  I've gotten the hang of ordering food, got my contacts in place at the local supermarkets, the sense of timing is better, my planning skills are being honed...etc.  I've (and we've, on occasion) received adulations for my meals, and in general, the boss and my colleagues have been pleased.

So, how to explain tonight?  I'd grown complacent, maybe?  Whatever it was, tonight's Wine and Burger was the single most dissatisfying culinary experience in my life (so far).  However, the silver lining - the self-reflection that will ensue makes for these things not to happen again.

My burgers weren't cooking like I wanted them.  Depending on what the "theme" night is, I season/prepare and form my own patties...and I'm suspecting the slow/uneven cooking of said burgers was because of that.  I knew I should have used this:

But I didn't.  And I scorched a lot more burgers than I would have liked to.

Second, my sweet potato fries came out soggy.  Damnit.  I didn't want soggy, I wanted crispy.  I reckon I'll make my way to the Internets in search of an explanation and solution.  Or, I might just ask my teachers...they may know.  Third, I ran out of fries...which is like, the kiss of death in foodservice.  Thankfully, I was down to the last two guests, and they were more than happy with a quick, on-the-spot Caesar salad in place of the fries.

Fourth, the manager informed me there would only be four staff workers, but there were one employee did not get a burger.  Or they split the burgers.  I don't know.  I just don't like having enough food to feed everyone, but this time it wasn't a lapse on my part (the sweet potato shortage was, though, I'll own).

Just an off night, really.  Nothing terribly major.  My boss was shocked to hear me speak negatively about the evening...which makes me wonder if they have expectations of me at all, or if I'm just too demanding of myself?

So, anyway.  Lessons learned: Know your grill.  Buy a bag of Ore-Ida sweet potato fries to pop in the oven, just in case.  And hey, a bag of salad in the fridge wouldn't hurt either, as a Plan B of sorts.  And - lower the limit to the number of guests who can attend (from 40 to 34)...then, there'll always be enough food for the guests and the staff.

Moving on - Father's Day dinner tomorrow!

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