- “Order” – you can start preparing the food, but don’t cook it.
- “Fire” – ok, cook the food and plate it.
- “All day” – how many orders+fires do we have of a particular dish.
It was my fourth day at JoJo today. I was helping Matt prep for, and then, help execute the Garde Manger station. This week is a slow week (until Valentines Day) so there weren’t that many “covers”. Covers are customers. Culinary school prepped me well for the lingo about utensils in the kitchen, as well as technical terms of preparation (e.g. concasser these tomatoes), but it doesn’t really teach you about the “execution lingo”. The main three terms I’m coming across so far are “order”, “fire”, and “all day”. For instance when I was working the meat station, an order would come in for “two veals”, this meant that a table had ordered them, but the expediter is saying “don’t start cooking them yet” because they are probably having a salad or soup. So I would take two veal cutlets out of the fridge, flour-egg-panko them getting them ready for cooking, start heating all the garnitures, but not actually cook the veal. Then when I hear “fire two veals”, I would start cooking the veal and plate them right away. It seems straight forward, but then when 3 more veals come in and two them are “fire”, it opens up the possibility for a mis-understanding (is that a new order that is “fire”, or is that firing up the old orders?). The term “all day” helps with this. “How many veals have we got all day” – this means the combined total of the two – i.e. how many veals outstanding are there in total? Because so much is new to me, I lose track pretty quickly, so I need a quick reset to make sure I’m on top of things and have the right number of dishes going.
The highlights of the day are definitely when I get to taste the food. Every so often Remi will bring over a sauce or a small dish of something and it’s always heaven. The lobster risotto, the champagne vinaigrette, the ginger coriander saffron chicken sauce, and the truffle creamed potatoes to mention just a few.
Because it was slow today, we had the unusual task of doing prep for tonight/tomorrow at the same time as manning the stations, so yes, I was cutting and peeling mushrooms, peeling potatoes, popping out endamame beans (see main pic for where those end up), peeling garlic. I had to remember to change my gloves when preparing a dessert dish (can’t have garlic smelling almond cakes!). One cool prep I did on the weekend was making ravioli courtesy of Remi’s instruction. This is an example of where simplicity makes a great dish. The raviolis are stuffed with just a small leaf of mint, a small leaf of basil, and ricotta. This tastes amazing when plated over a tomato sauce. The magic comes just before putting the ravioli on the plate. They are swirled in a high end olive oil and salt. Makes it all taste amazing. I’m definitely buying a pasta machine!
I have to admit that I liked the slower pace today, certainly after the craziness of the weekend. The learning curve is probably a tad slower, but the heart attacks are less frequent.