This ad-hoc cheffing thing is a bit of fun sometimes... but a LOT of it at the moment seems to be all on my own.
I’ll arrive to find some notes left for me just titled “chef”. Maybe a menu. And I’ll figure it out along the way. Looking for stuff and investigating. Digging around in fridges and dry stores, looking for the switch for the fans, the key for the gas, a piping bag or a spatula. Trying the read the mind of the chef you’ve never met and put the pieces together... Often it’s the smallest of things that stitch you up when you’re in a hurry!
But then, on the other hand, it can be really slow. Times in a sleepy hotel where there is not a lot to do, and I’m on my own in a stainless steel box with no windows and nobody to talk to for 8, 9, 10 hours like yesterday. I didn’t even know it was snowing.
But look at this! Today... other people. Chefs, co-workers, company, colleagues, even just for a day. Human contact! Pleasant people, and that’s important. It doesn’t matter what they say or what they do, they are just there and that’s enough. I make the coffees and then we chat about whatever. There are times when we are working in silence; chopping, sautéing, stirring, slicing, doing our own thing in each other’s company and that’s ok too.
So, excuse the dodgy face in the photo, I’m sure they all think I am crackers. Coming into their life for a day and gone the next. “Are you on Instagram?” I ask. “No” they say. In that case we’ll probably never see each other again.
...and then I get sent home early because they were over staffed...