• Eliana

Day 56: Hollywood Meets Bollywood.

A new week, a new partner. Oh My-tree! After having worked with Jack last week and having worked so well together, it was a little challenging working with Maitreywee (My-Tree) today who needs to put some fire up her butt! My-Tree has the tendency to overreact about the littlest things. She read/prepared the wrong recipes today, so at the beginning we were all over the place and both looking at my task list. We had to make two dishes the pork chops (yes- the ones my mom and dad scarfed down) and a salad Niciose. We had pretty much two and a half hours to prepare and cook both. All was going pretty fine, expect Mai butchered the pork chops, so I had to get four new ones to redo while she cooked the eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. I prepared the sauce Espangole (base for the pork chops sauce), as well. You pretty much brown pork bones with bacon. Then add the mirepoix- get golden, add flour, butter, then the veal stock to cover, tomato products and the herbs/season. You let that simmer for a good hour and then strain and begin reducing the sauce.

During this process, Mai said something to me and to be completely honest I can only really understand every five words out of her mouth because she speaks really fast and at 9am it’s too early for me to have to focus really hard on her lips to read what they are saying. I said “huh?’ because I didn’t understand and she said “girl you have hearing problems”. I bite back with a “No, My-Tree, I just can’t understand you”. Apparently I put some attitude behind the line and chef pulled me outside to talk. Oh great! So, basically chef told me I need to change my attitude because I have one, am sarcastic, can’t say “yes chef”, don’t like to be told no, and make faces when given instructions. She even gave me a warning that she was going to write me up. Okay, wait WHAT!? Are you for real? At this point, I realized that there was some kind of communication barrier going on. (I don’t want you to think that I am the only one chef talks to on a every other day basis… she talks to a lot of people or she says the ones she cares about and wants to see succeed/have the potential or the “it” she calls it). We both told each other how we felt and she also didn’t know that I was harboring a lot of things inside me, as well. She realized that I was just being genuine, not sarcastic when I make faces- I only do because well for one I still haven’t learned how to hide my emotions and two I get more mad at myself then anything for having chef get on me about doing something wrong. I know she is not out to get me because everything she says or has me correct is right. We spoke about some issues, but at the end she didn’t realize that several things also bothered me and I’m glad she is now aware of them.

Many times I just don’t realize that I come off a certain way and I don’t intend to come off as it. I started tearing and then silent heavy breathing waterworks, chef felt horrible. Through extremely red eyes and a red blotchy face, we carried on with our conversation. The bottom line is chef genuinely thinks I have what it takes to be a chef (ha) and just wants me to be more aware of how I act (oy) and is not writing me up (thank the lord) and wants to see me succeed and doesn’t hate me and feels bad for being a b****/ rough like the non quilted soft toilet paper they have at movie theaters or public bathrooms. After our convo, I went back and began working with a smile on my face, but with a bright red face and a new attitude.

Mai and I, well mostly me because I pretty much cooked the entire pork dish, killed it. The sauce, the temperature of the pork, the searing, you name it. Except, Mai made the pommes darphin (hash browns) which didn’t turn out exactly on their A game. I showed Mai who was boss, she even said “Everything you did was super, but what I did not so much”. HAHAHAH I laughed. Then we made the Salad Nicoise, which is not my favorite because it doesn’t have a lot of dressing on it. Cousin Lynn here is your picture of your Divas!

Also, I have an admirer (no not Carlos- he’s my bestie). So, level two’s kitchen is right across from the bread kitchen. The sinks in our kitchen face the hallway and there are big windows where you can look into our kitchen that faces the two big windows in the bread kitchen. Well, one day I noticed that I was washing my plates at the same time as this boy from the bread kitchen. He smiled and I smiled back (haha calm down). Anyways, every time I looked into the bread kitchen from our kitchen, we’d lock eyes. I started laughing because I could tell he must have told his friends because I could see how they were all reacting. So, I told Jack and he starting noticing that the kid would look into our kitchen for me! Haha. So today, the kid saw me hysterical with Chef Veronica in the hall because their kitchen faces ours. So, when I went back to my station, the kid through the window made a gesture for me to smile (turn my frown upside down). I laughed and smiled. It was so sweet of him. At the end of the day, Jack comes to me freaking out that the boy is waiting outside our classroom for me. Well, he hands me a homemade challah that they made in class with his name and number on it. I was DYING! First of all, how sweet especially after my day, second of all, my hair is wrapped up in a bun- my curly locks couldn’t have told him I was JEWISH! Gosh, I love Challah more than anything, and three- his name is Juan Pablo from Mexico City! And he was wearing bright emerald green pants! I can’t handle this… but, I should probably text him saying thanks! I’ll keep you updated on this… oh lord as if Culinary school wasn’t already epic enough.

Currently Devouring Challah, Eliana

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