One word after reading Bay area chef Shuna Lydon's essay about not only running/working a restaurant kitchen but being "in the weeds" on the line: WOW! Also fucking spot on. This is a must read for every cook, professional or home. Also anyone who runs/works in any business. There's lessons here for all of us. Favorite passages:
"There are a few ways to teach a cook Imperative.
One is to tell him:
"We need you to accomplish this five hour task by the time service starts, in 1 and a half hours."
"Hey, I need these carrots for service. Yeah I know you think it will take you longer than 30 minutes but it can't, right, because I need them to cook for the first order which is in, well, now, 28 minutes."
And so on.
Another is to show her.
Get in there, take the peeler out of her hand, and peel those apples faster, talking and showing as you go. Give instruction in a clear, concise way backed up with answers to why and show the how. Take another spoon out of the bain marie and quenelle 10 for every three she does. Show her how to move faster, stay cleaner and teach form, grace and economy of movement. Be more organized than your staff, showing them it can be done. Inspire them to want to be better."
will take you no matter how smart, clean, efficient, organized, you are. The Weeds will find your weakness. And live there. The Weeds wait for every cook.
The Weeds will take your lunch money and throw sand in your face and take your girlfriend and steal your pride. The Weeds do not discriminate. The Weeds wait. The Weeds are patient. Quiet. Confident. The Weeds strip you naked and leave you out to dry. And the next night? They'll be back again.
When I read her "Cowboys on islands become clueless chefs who lead their team into The Weeds every night single-handedly." I can't help but relate it to the financial "geniuses" who have our economy circling the drain. This is great writing. Once more: WOW!!