Some of you have been wondering, what happened to my nights in the kitchen? Why no more recaps, or lessons learned, or funny stories (usually around a mistake I made). It was doing so well there for awhile (ok, so maybe not SO well, but good enough, and I was loving it!)
Well. Life kind of happened. And the economy. Let me explain. I was loving working in the kitchen. And was wanting to do it everyday if I could. I was finding myself becoming one of those people that looked for excuses to be in the restaurant even when I wasn't working or suppose to be there. I was looking for ways to increase my hours-even going in on Sunday's when I could.
Then November came. And I had back to back trips to New York, Australia and Hong Kong. And I had a hard enough time juggling vacation and work. No time for the kitchen.
And then January rolled around, and the economy was beginning to take it's toll. All around San Francisco, I was hearing horror stories. "We did 14 covers last night", or "Yea, they're cutting our hours", or "It's been slow in the restaurant". Times were a little gloomy. And overall spirits were down.
On one hand, you could say that now's a good time to be a stage. Free labor! But on the other hand? Some how it didn't feel right to me to jump in and work for free when other's were seeing their hours cut. Not that I would be getting paid, or not that I am realistically a threat to anyone in the kitchen in terms of a job (cause really, do I really have it in me to do this professionally? I don't know...) But somehow, it didn't feel just right to me.
A kitchen is a sensitive place. It's a community. And there are politics, power struggles and underlying dynamics that you don't always see or are aware of. I don't want to "rock the boat" all for my little hobby. I was still a bit of an outsider (although I'd like to think that for the most part the team there liked me and didn't mind me working there!) But still. Better to be safe than sorry.
But do I miss it? Oh my god yes! Do I want to go back? Definitely!! (If they or someone else will have me!) Do I regret ever doing it? Nope, one of the best things I've ever done in my entire life.
The lesson here folks? Eat out! Get our local restaurants buzzin again! There are a lot of people who's livelihoods depend on you. There are a lot of people who can't make ends meet when you stop dining out.
And there's me, who's dying to get back in the kitchen!