It was called the Beach House; a restaurant sitting right on the ocean beach, overlooking the tides, and the sunsets that made them look like liquid gems. I was nervous about going in; after all this place was way too upper class for me to work in.
I was wrong, as is the case much more often than I like to admit. The chef sat down with me right then and there, and offered me a job ten minutes later. Even though he admitted that they had just filled all their openings.
He also told me that he had just started his job as head chef 4 weeks earlier. The fact that he told this to me, a stranger whom he had just hired, should have sparked a little warning in me that he might not be a great boss. But more on that later.
This was a real restaurant, as I was soon to find out – as opposed to the tiny small menu restaurants I had previously worked in. 50 homemade sauces lined an entire wall of the walk-in cooler. I spent my first day learning how to make the salads, but unlike other restaurants, I made them for myself and then ate them, which was super fun, and also a great learning experience.
The second day, I missed the bus. And then the next one, because it was full. I ended up two hours late, sick with worry and sure that I was about to be fired. My boss sat down with me, and was very understanding about the whole thing; I went and got changed and cried a little bit. Then I went back down and learned how to make sushi.
Ok, I am kind of lying. I started to learn how to make sushi.
Restaurants operate a lot differently than people who have not worked in them think they do. This series on my restaurant recollections will, I hope, allow readers to gain an understanding of how stressful and complicated restaurant operation actually is, but also, how unique and rewarding the job is in the long run.