My new life as a stagiare

Major apologies for not having blogged for a while. As you all may know, I started interning at a 3-star Michelin restaurant and to be honest, there has been absolutely no time for me to update you all on how it’s going.

I had orientation on Monday and Tuesday (morning) and we were explained the values of the restaurant, about formalities such as health benefits, security, got my locker and uniforms and life as a stagiare and what was expected of you. I was feeling very excited/anxious as I did not know what to expect on Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon after lunch, I had to be dressed and at the kitchen at 2 pm. There was only 3 chefs there at the time – Monday through Wednesday, the restaurant only serves the dinner service so the chefs do not have to be there in the morning all the time but Thursday and Friday is lunch and dinner service so full on work from 9 am until 11.30 pm. Dinner service holds around 50 + covers so imagine all the dishes we have to prep and make (that’s on Thursday and Friday; Monday through Wednesday is a bit lighter but still around the 30s).

Working there, you have to be committed. This is definitely not a place where you get to prance around and just ‘observe’, you must act and react; there’s always something to do, something to prepare, something to send to the pass (the counter where all the dishes go for a final inspection by the Chef and into the hands of the service staff). 

I thought that in my first week, I’d just be cleaning and weeding out lettuce but I was put straight into the garde-manger and prep, plate, and finish 6 different dishes that we send out including the amuse-bouche, the 2 seafood starters and 1 seasonal starter (changes every couple of weeks) and the final dish before dessert. Yes…I actually plate and send!

But it’s definitely not an easy task as the level of quality is so high that if in the Chef’s eyes it’s not perfect, they are not going to send it and you have to do it all over again. The pace is super fast – 20 times more than school but I love it. It’s obviously very tiring at the end of the day when you’re cleaning at night and you feel the weight of your body just wanting to fall and then you go to sleep and get up in the morning to do it – but it gives you this high, adrenaline rush when you’re in the kitchen that’s operating at like 100 miles an hour. 

The chefs are nice – and I’m the only girl. I’m also the shortest which does not help at all times since I have to ask one or two if they can grab me the pan that’s on the highest shelf they have…but they are all nice, patient (for now 🙂 and were telling me that if I had any questions, that I should ask as they were in my position before so they understand what to do, what not to do and how to do it.

The head Chef, the sous-Chef and the 3rd in line are also patient with me (for now) and they are teaching me the tools of the trade. This restaurant produces great dishes that I have seen gone by and very generous surprisingly in terms of portions – I thought I’d be looking at mini dishes but they serve great portions. 

So for now, this is what I’ve experienced…I’m obviously super tired but will try to blog as much as I can, at least once or twice about my week. Every weekend I’ll go to a new place to eat so don’t worry, pictures will be up (tomorrow). 

An overall good but hard week but I believe I can do this and I love doing it..It just requires a lot of strength – both physical and mental to handle the heat, and the fast-paced environment for like 6 hours!

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