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Six day’s in, to my apprenticeship at Bierhaus. Really loving it thus far, but then again I cannot complain since it is a class to me as well as a job. So whatever gets thrown at me, I’m learning from it and kicking its ass.

Tuesday, having been my first day on the job; I clocked in at 16:00. Was there till closing, so 01:00 am? I learned the basics and was introduced to my mentor, Executive Chef R. Really nice Chef, European too, which made it all the more comfortable to me, almost home like. I started my apprenticeship by chopping parsley, well learning how to chop parsley, to an extremely fine cut. Along with showing Chef R some of my knife skills and learning better knife skills, I learned to plate four dishes and a recipe that day. The apple strudel, pork schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, Jagger Schnitzel and Roasted potatoes; the recipe was for crepes. Em, for it having been my first day, it was natural for me to be a tad slow in the kitchen. After all, I did need to familiarize myself with the kitchen and where things go and are located. Towards the end of clocking out, Chef R gave me the best news I could have heard to boost me up. “For it being your first day, you did very good!” Hell, I was ecstatic hearing that, for I thought I did shit to none of admirable work. So that was music to my ears. I could tell you this much though, the first day my muscles were sore as all hell, not to mention flabby like Bugs Bunny’s droopy lumps of muscle. Ouch!

Second day, I was on my own with one of the other Chefs I met on my first day, nice guy! Although, there were new faces that I had to acquaint myself with. I honestly felt very ostracized that day for everyone in the kitchen was Haitian and feeling comfortable with each other they constantly spoke French and obviously, what with me being an apprentice and someone new to the kitchen, they pretty much got me moving a lot more that I would have expected, although I felt like I had it coming for I knew my second day would consist of me making mistakes, learning from them, hands on that is and perhaps being offered a helping hand- which thankfully I was. Em, my first day as well as the second, I got to cook myself some chicken schnitzel, so damn good. Also it made my stomach really happy since I was looking forward to a walk home from work..

Third day, Chef R was in! Not to be mean or anything, but I felt at ease when I knew I had my hours from 18:00-22:00 with Chef R. I felt more comfortable and not as a bother in the kitchen that time. Although, I believe that is due to the fact that I am growing comfortable with my insane work area and schedule. On this day, Thursday, I got to show Chef R more of what I learned on my second day. I learned a few more dishes. Bierhaus wings, Sliders, Brettzel (Pretzel), Sauerkraut, chocolate cake set up, Bierhaus burger and a few other knife techniques. While cleaning up though, after having chopped a few vegetable and pounding out some veal, I had a run in with a sneaky blade and cut a nice slice of skin off from my thumb knuckle.

Day four, Friday was FAR busier and grueling! I used to look forward to the arrival of Friday, although now I see it as a pain in my arse. Friday was spent making meatballs for a party we were expecting Saturday; about 150 meatballs to be exact. The only problem I had Friday was continuously having to make clear to another cook in the kitchen that, not changing my gloves after having handled raw meat, let alone ground beef, is a big risk for cross contamination if I did not change my gloves or washed my hands. But it didn’t stop there. This cook was also pushing Chef R’s buttons. Being the executive chef of the restaurant, the kitchen is HIS domain. After all, he is the executive chef, they hired him to help out and improve things for the restaurant. Unfortunately though, this cook in this kitchen would not listen to Chef R and would give attitude and not comply with getting what had to get done within the time needed. Needless to say, I can tell that I will have problems with this cook..

Day five, Saturday I walked in with a determined outlook on things in the kitchen. Feeling more confident and gaining some muscle in the process (oh yeah!) and speed with working my way around the kitchen. As soon as I clocked in, I slipped some gloves on and was put to work on making my meatballs into patties for that party I mentioned we were expecting for today. Far better progress this day with the troublesome cook. She got to work right away, no attitude and followed what Chef R had asked of her and did it when it was asked. So there was an improvement; although I believe it was perhaps due to a stern talking to when I had clocked out Friday- who knows.  Got a few battle or kitchen wounds I should say this time. No thanks to the dreaded ceram wrap. You know that yellow box of clear plastic wrap or better known as cling wrap? Well in the kitchen we have an industrialized version of that little devil and boy can those razor teeth cut you open! I lived through it though, got through the hectic Saturday pile up. Then enjoyed a dinner out with friends and a half hour at Sinister! Then it was home for me and to clean up the face and arm and hit the pillows. Sweet, divine comfort.

Day six, Sunday, I believe I will forever look towards Sunday for it was quite relaxing! Slow, got to cleaning up the kitchen and putting things in order. Some cooking, so at the very least there was some action. Despite it being relaxing, I hate simply standing around and doing nothing at all. If at most, I’d rather enjoy a slow day with it being slightly busy than not at all, but it’s not all bad. Sunday was more cleaning than anything else, the hood of the stoves were to cleaned later in the evening that day. Everything, utensils, pots, skillets, pans, food; everything was to be cleaned out and stored in the walk-in cooler. Chef R asked how I liked being in the kitchen so far and my thoughts on it; my response “I’m having a lot of fun and learning quite a lot more than I would have thought. So I am enjoying it thoroughly!”

Six days in total for my first week; 29 hours completed! I’m ecstatic and looking forward to my four day break this week. Although I will miss being around the action, but I return to work this Friday at noon. For now, I will enjoy the break while it lasts. Rest period, take me away.

sleep in the forest

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