17 February 2007

Valentine's day

Candy hearts and red roses it wasn’t. Chefette learned a new meaning this year to the phrase: “Valentine’s day”—big-time mise-en-place, and a non-stop busy service!

On the big night, we offered a special six-course tasting menu. We’d taken around 68 bookings (compared with c.35 on a typical busy night). We'd even started service an hour early to accommodate extra customers.

For my part, I kicked off the first four hours of the afternoon making 58 portions of beetroot tortellini. That’s 178 of the little critters. Then, during service, I had to open loads of oysters – over half a crate of them. And although I shan’t be winning any oyster speed contests for a good while yet, at least I managed to pick up the pace a bit by the end. Suffice to say, after all that shucking, my right thumb was amazingly sore the next day!!

Fortunately, everyone on staff was working on Valentine’s night. All three waiting staff, and four of us in the kitchen. Mostly things went smoothly, although there were a couple of instances of major staff confusion on table numbers. (Usually, we lay the tables out in a mix of 2s, 4s and 6s. But on Valentine's night the entire restaurant was laid out in 2s, so the table numbering got a bit creative at times). At one point, had brought orders for two different Table 12s. And then Table 8 kept getting Table 11’s food.

The low point of my night came when I had to dash outside into the courtyard to be sick. (Literally sick. In a black bin liner.) It wasn't the flu, just an oyster that disagreed with me. As I get older, my system is becoming hyper-sensitive to oysters. I end up getting sick more times than not after eating them. Even the cooked ones are starting to affect me. Woe is me.

Anyway, I'd love to know if any of you have any views on the recently held “1 million baht dinner” in Thailand?

It sounds like an amazing meal, but even so I cannot believe there was not a single Thai dish on the menu! An outrage.

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