• prep work

    by  • August 13, 2007 • Uncategorized • 11 Comments

    Half of my day is spent
    getting ready for dinner.
    The prep list hangs
    from the ticket holder
    and I pull my Sharpie
    from my sleeve pocket
    to mark my progress:
    green beans, succotash,
    gnocchi, Swiss chard,
    cod, swordfish, halibut,
    butter sauces.

    There is a certain way
    to do things.
    The aim is consistency
    rather than conformity.
    Each portion of salmon
    should weigh eight ounces.
    The chives should be diced
    to be the same size.
    Does any diner look
    at the plate and say,
    “This chive is too large,”

    or pick up his salmon
    and reach across to grab
    the fish at the next table
    to see if their weights
    are commensurate?
    But I can tell
    when I pick them up
    and place them
    in hot sauté pans.
    They don’t know,
    but I do.

    After his days off,
    Chef comes in early
    and checks all
    the dressings and sauces
    to see if they match
    the recipes. He looks
    at peppers, mushrooms,
    even the chives –
    we sweat the small stuff.
    It’s how we show
    we mean what we cook.



    Blogging since December 2005


    11 Responses to prep work

    1. August 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm

      “It’s how we show
      we mean what we cook.”

      I like that…

    2. August 14, 2007 at 12:05 am

      “They don’t know, but I do”

      Words to live by, my friend, amen.

    3. Amy
      August 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm

      I really like this poem. A lot.

    4. August 15, 2007 at 1:48 am

      Yes, me too. Sounds like you are digging your new job.

    5. August 15, 2007 at 2:55 am

      what david said…

    6. August 16, 2007 at 3:01 pm

      and as a veteran restaurant server,, i know from being on the front lines that every now and again.. someone will find fault with anything… so if you are secure in your knowledge that they are full of it… so am i….

    7. August 16, 2007 at 4:13 pm

      What a fine poem!

    8. August 16, 2007 at 7:57 pm

      great poem:)

    9. August 16, 2007 at 8:16 pm

      How neat! It’s how we show
      we mean what we cook. I really like this phrase – says so much…

    10. August 17, 2007 at 12:44 am

      Wow, I really like this. A very intimate glimpse inside the kitchen and a prep cook’s head.

    11. August 18, 2007 at 1:00 am

      It’s how we show
      we mean what we cook.

      That last sentence packed a powerful punch…great poem!

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