Apart from The Sardine, whose continuing development and adventures are keeping me endlessly occupied, I haven't written because I've been on the other side of the counter for a long time. Just relating to customers every night is taxing for me, and though I can do it, it's not my strength. Plus, there's less to write about, except for the occasional insane person who does their best to make me insane as well. I'm more interested in food and cooking.
(Un)Fortunately, I've been back in the kitchen lately. A series of very unfortunate events, none directly involving me, has befallen some of my kitchen crew and we've had quite a shake-up. Consequently, I've been working the line. I love and hate it. I love doing it, I love the action and the satisfaction from a job well done. I hate that I have to do it in these circumstances. It does feel good to be using those skills though.
We just hired someone that I am hoping will be a good fit, either sous chef or chef de cuisine. We'll see how he works out. He's been the chef of a larger operation locally and has experience with volume. I wasn't impressed with the other place, but I know he was operating under a lot of management strictures and I'll be interested to see what he can do in a freer, saner environment. At the very least, he should be able to free me from ordering, scheduling, and some of those tasks, so I can work on developing new things and techniques.
I had a classmate from culinary school visit recently. He works for Sodhexo, in a cook/chill facility for a university. We were talking about sous vide, which he does a lot of, and he said they don't actually pull a vacuum on anything. They just seal and cook in the bags, weighing them down with a cage. That alone opened up a lot of possibilities for my budget. I've wanted to do more sous vide, but haven't wanted to spring for the chamber vacuum sealer. Now, I just seal the things without the vacuum. I did a small wedding last weekend for 100 people and did the short ribs and chicken that way, as well as reheating the green beans and gnocchi in a water bath. Much easier to plate and clean-up.
So, I'm looking forward to more experimentation, and learning new things.