18.12.14 (Day 361)
As it turned out, we had had 42 diners for lunch today. It went well. I gained some recognition, including from someone very close to me. Already recognised as a writer with the paradox stories being accepted for punishment, today I gained recognition as a chef.
This was my first public gig, running the kitchen of a church. Myself and my two assistants arrived at 9am and within three hours we’d knocked up a three course meal for 42 covers. We then served, cleared plates, served, cleared plates, served and cleared bowls.
With hindsight, there are a few things I’d have done differently. It wasn’t a particularly taxing lunch but feeding 40-odd people at roughly the same time, whilst catering for a few special needs is a bit of a challenge. If I’d been running a restaurant with table service and each table ordering different things at different times, it actually may have been easier. But thanks to my soux chefs, commis chefs, dessert chefs and waiting staff, we pulled it off. There were four of us, doubling and tripling up on kitchen duties.
For my part, I did most of the hot and heavy stuff: cooking, boiling, draining, roasting, carving and so on, then helping with and directing service. I beat my personal best on the blue plasters front and finished service with none. I managed to steam my hand and my left forearm is doing a passable impression of a grilled steak but other than that, you’d never know I was there. The diners were appreciative and my team were given a round of applause at the end of service. I think we might do it again. I’m certainly up for more gigs and around half of today’s diners took away the leaflets I’d left on their tables for the Restaurant at Home Service.
There’s a long way to go but I’ll get there.
Half way up the stairs is a place where I sit
There isn’t any other place quite like it
It’s not at the bottom
It’s not at the top
But this is the place where I always stop
I stop to reflect on the things I’ve done and where I’m going. The chef and the writer are in the ascendance.
The recognition I mentioned: among today’s diners was my dear mother ship. I happened to overhear something she said: on hearing someone at her table commenting on how good the food and service was today, my mum said “That’s my son.”
Well, that’s my mum. And I have a sister besides The Courts; a sister who bought me a Christmas present. And I have kids. I have my adopted daughters, The Wife, the ninja, the fold-up one; I have my best friends Meg and Nettie who helped me today as they do with everything. And I have kids: my own. My mum gave me a card today, from my boy.
That’s my son.