It Could of Been Worse


The day started like any other day of service. Double checked my list for mise en place, felt confident on my prep, had plenty of time before service until.... my bad JuJu cloud descended upon me!! Lately, it seems like inexplicably something inevitably ends up throwing me off my game and/or simply pisses me off on the day of service: generator, problem with unexpected staffing, food not being as fresh as I want it to be etc.... Most of the time I power through it no problem. However on this day, it was a bit more complicated. I had just completed my dump run and got out of the car to check for yesterday's mail, Wishhhhhh, Boooom and CRACK! The next thing I knew I was on the ground holding my ear, which struck my aluminum mailbox post.. that four corner edged pole was unforgiving!!! The medic in me started the obligatory Neuro/Trauma triage..Yep I can move, Yep I know who I am, where I am, who the president is, (I reluctantly answered that one) and what today was. DAMN!!!! Way too much blood!! Ok, no big deal, small lacerations bleed a lot, go in patch yourself up and go back to work!! I could here my inner Thomas Keller's voice saying to me: "There is no crying in the kitchen, put your big boy pants on and get back on the line!" ...DAMN!! Not going to happen.. my ear was flapping!! DAMN!!! Deep breath and off I went to the ER.. 

Choosing my words VERY carefully in triage I made it to Fast Trac (Bonus?), ticktock all that was on my mind was..I had to run back to start setting up my mise. Ok, a few stitches and I'm out of here. DAMN!!! A few turned into a few more!! TickTock.. Reviewing in my mind how I was going to make up the time loss when I get home I started to stress out a bit. I was trying very hard not to be a pain in the ass. I nonchalantly asked: "Hey Tom how we doing here?" The PA working on me said "Could've Been Worse! But you did a good job on it! I'm almost done with the inside going to start on the outside." OK WHAT!!!!! DAMN!!!!! Tick Tock mise en place tick tock...This was crazy, and so after 3 hours in the ED, after returning with a dozen cupcakes for the staff, its all about the food in the break room ( my charge nurse wife had trained me well ), I was back and setting up my mise!! I was sure I was going to end up in the weeds! I needed a second set of hands on this one, so I called a chef friend of mine. Thankfully she could make it. Off we went.. 

The first dinner of any series is always a bit stressful. Tack on my ear, my bad JuJu cloud, and I was, to say the least, a bit stressed. Normally it's a 5 course meal, relaxing to produce and to plate. This one was a beast!!! 8 completely different courses. Multiple sauces, multiple flavor profiles and multiple cooking profiles ie: steaming, deep frying, and sauteing! Some all at the same time! It was a bit nuts. I got through it, everyone did a great job on this EPIC amount of food! A few took home some food home with them. Some went out on on a limb, out of their comfort zone, to try this food and I'm proud to say they came out on the other end happy and excited that they tried it! That made my night to be honest. I'm the most happy when a guest comes to the table a little apprehensive (some maybe get dragged to the table, I'm sure kicking and screaming, by their partners)  and miraculously I turn them around!! Now that's seriously fun for me! 

In the end, my bad JuJu cloud moved on. It kicked my ass and I kicked its ass right back! I was proud of the food I pumped out and maybe converted one or two to devotee of The8Top. I'm still having fun which is why I do it. I'm looking at it as a glass half full, so I can say with confidence:" DAMN>>>Could've Been Worse!