It’s not easy to jump right back into the working thing after my leisure time as a student. I’m working as a garde manger - I’m in charge of all the salads and other “cold” preparations (there are about 10, including sardines with fennel and saffron, beets with pistachios, etc.). The restaurant is BUSY. I work from 2pm till 1am. On a weekend night I can’t leave the station for a minute without masses of orders piling up and putting me deep in the weeds. Need to pee? Hold it. Run out of octopus? Pray that no one orders it until I can find someone to run downstairs and get more from the walk in. I’m still learning the preparations and I spend most of my time hoping I don’t serve Frank Bruni a poorly sliced overdressed oxtail salad with no pine nuts. Every Wednesday I turn apprehensively to the back page of Dining Out to make sure he hasn't written a nasty review about my food.
Despite the constant terror, I'm really enjoying the new job. The chefs are great teachers and no one screams at me or throws knives. The night goes by in a flash and before I know it it's time to clean the prosciutto slicer (not fun) and head home. The other night I got home and found a piece of prosciutto in my hair. Lovely. It's not a glamorous job, and I'm paid less than my cleaning lady, but so far it's been a huge learning experience, and much more fun than being a lawyer.