Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dinner Line- Grill Side

As odd as it sounds i don't get the chance to cook on the line at the restaurant very often. i help as needed but as far as a scheduled shift working on the line it rarely happens. on a busy night we would have one guy that does salads and desserts, another working fried foods and kids food, another working the middle who is in charge of plating, vegetables, sauteed and pan fried items, and pastas. the fourth is the grill side, in charge of fish, steak, poultry, etc. also in charge of the firing and timing of all tickets, and any communication that needs to happen with servers or management. so i camped up on the grill side last night. on the menu is halibut cooked 4 different ways, salmon cooked three different ways, a total of 6 steak options, two chicken dishes, whole crab, sole, razor clams, and a snapper dish. its a lot to manage, but when everyone can hit stride, you can get to a point where no one needs to talk to each other, everyone knows what each other are doing and whole tickets come to the pass together in a fluid motion by up to four people involved. it is the ultimate test of not only cooking skill but also your ability to stay calm and focused (luckily the grill man usually gets control of the radio- and i had my ipod) in the end things went fantastically smooth with not one dropped plate, mis-cooked ingredient, customer complaint, or missed items. the reason for all this banter is simply this- the whole process can be one of the most gratifying in the kitchen, when you are done for the night and everyone is fed, a customers expectations have been far exceeded, and they will not only open their wallets and happily pay their bill, but will go out and remember that meal, and perhaps even send a friend our way, you go home and feel like you accomplished an impossibly insurmountable task.

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