Days like today make me truly appreciate my work. I have to be prepared for anything, and today was one of those days! I walked into the shop to find most of the cheeses had disappeared to the walk-in refrigerator. The electricity had gone out the night before due to rather severe rains (according to Southern California standards), and to save the cheeses, Carlos needed to put them away, along with the more delicate charcuterie. That meant that the morning was devoted to returning the cheeses to their rightful places in the display case.
Then, as 1pm rolled around, Dawn realized that there was no one in the kitchen doing prep work for the evening. As she called each person who worked or has worked in the kitchen before, and each person was unavailable, it became clear that we’d have to get to work ourselves. “Um, OK.” I’m usually the first to admit that I am no great cook, and preparing work for a restaurant kitchen, even a relatively simple one as ours, did sound a bit daunting. I was definitely willing to help with what I could, though! I think Dawn figured all of this out, and gave me the easier tasks of making chèvre logs and caramelized onions, but I did help with the empanada fillings as Carlos whisked in and made everything else. Whew, I don’t know if my knife skills will ever be that good. Dawn’s onion chopping looked gorgeous, and Carlos was like a little whirlwind fueled by rap, hip hop, and reggae music. In the end, a good chunk of the menu was prepared for the evening in record time! Plus, tonight is Latin night, so the orders are likely to be heavy on the Spanish plates.
Next week is the Cellar’s potluck holiday party. What can I bring to a potluck where everyone’s a cook? Cheese? I was going to make chocolate truffles until it was marked that we couldn’t make desserts. Now, I don’t know! I’ll cook up something, though, and I promise it will be good.