Dancing with my Sous….

April 23, 2010

Ah Mel.  A couple days a week I find myself working with my AM Sous Chef getting ready for dinner service.  Mel comes in between 9 and 10 am each day and at 7 am on Sunday mornings.  He’s in charge of production levels, soups, sauces, desserts, meat cutting and many other things.  He has worked for me for 11 years.  When I am helping him, we are totally in sync.  We hardly ever speak.  I pull items out of the oven for him, he stirs my melting peppers on the stove.  He starts setting up the pot sinks and I turn the water off and clear the plate racks off the drain board.  I grab things for him from the walk in cooler downstairs, he returns my unused herbs on his trip down.  When the doorbell rings and a delivery is coming in, we just look at each others hands and cutting boards, and whomever is in the least amount of gunk goes down and checks in the order.  He picks up the heavy stuff (I’ve got 20 years on him).  I pick up the light stuff.  It’s a very small kitchen.  We never get in each other’s way.  When we’re both exhausted and the delivery bell rings yet again, we’ve even both broken out in Paper, Rocks, Scissors stance at the same time, bringing a much needed smile to both our faces.

It’s teamwork.  Yes, I know other professions experience it.  Doctors, lawyers, construction workers.  And many teams get the job done.  But working with Mel is magic.  I know it.

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