Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Walking into the kitchen tonight I immediately become nostalgic. The people I see around me are all familiar faces that I have worked with for the past couple of months. We’ve joked, laughed, gotten in each other’s way, pissed each other off and shared an intensity that only a kitchen environment provides.

Tonight, the evening before Thanksgiving, the restaurant is booked up so I am anticipating a busy night. Ashley couldn’t make it tonight since she was traveling and Spencer and I are in charge of the Saucier station. Happily, Michal came over from the fish station to help us out to become reacquainted with the duck and lamb dishes.

The night of service was without any drama, all the food went out perfectly and we were more than organized and experienced some downtime occasionally. My fellow Level VI students seemed quiet, pensive, all concentrating on this last night of service before our final cooking exam on Monday after the holiday.

Come close of service, pictures were snapped, hugs given, pats on the back and the team disbursed to get ready for a holiday that I think was made for Chefs and the people that love them.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – I love the flavors and food combinations. I make an easy homemade fresh cranberry sauce that I just love. Growing up my mom would break out the solidified canned cranberry sauce – and I would just look at it and pass it up. Hey, that’s what was common for T-day dinners in the 80s. Something about that wiggling, jellied, cranberry-colored, can-shaped blob just didn’t appeal to me. I think aesthetics has a lot to do with food as most of us eat with our eyes before our palates.

Leaving FCI that night, I was thankful for my nine months at school, I was thankful for the Chefs who taught me and the students I’ve bonded with over this time. Realizing what we are thankful for puts everything into perspective.

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