A little while ago I had a pretty bad workplace issue which I asked you guys here for advice on. I no longer have any issue telling you the place is called 'The One That Got Away'. Seriously, if you google it, look at the fucking logo, let that be your first clue. Don't ever go there.
I've been having a great time at my new job now and I thought I would give an update and tell you guys a bit about my new gig.
Sometimes I panic about important things and it takes me a minute to get my bearings and remember that I have lots of support. I have been a chef for 16 years. I went to school. I've been reviewed by Toronto Life and the Toronto Star's best critics during my career and done rather well. I began consulting and helped a lot of awesome Toronto restaurants organize their operation systems and kitchen finances. I shouldn't have to be worried about work but I was. Going back to cooking fine dining wasn't something I had considered.
I have been trying to transition out of kitchens all together the last few years. I've been going to school part time when I can afford classes to learn computer programming and I had been working in more casual low end places and consulting in an effort to relieve the pressure to perform artistically so I could focus on school. Working low end though means a lot of bullshit. People are just straight up unprofessional and few shits are given. It's wild.
For an interesting look inside restaurant kitchens from the perspective of two feminist women, check out this conversation I had with KillerMartini earlier today.
Anyway, since I was out of work once I calmed down I realized I knew a lot of working chefs. A lot of them already think highly of me. I just started texting people I knew and got a new job right away at a great place called The Gabardine.
I love it. It's owned by a couple of awesome women. There are gay women and men - both butch and femme, several races and religions, etc. all working in one restaurant and all with diverse and good jobs(they don't hide the coloured people in the dish pit). The menu is awesome, the kitchen is clean and I knew everyone already before I got there. Also - it's closed on Saturday and Sunday. Amazing. It's actually fun to go to work and since all the good supervisor jobs are taken, I only have to go in, cook like a boss and leave. So sick. No pressure.
Guess what happened today? Today I got to add another person to the list of awesome people I have cooked for: Karen Kane. For those who are unaware, Karen Kane is a retired Principal Dancer for The National Ballet of Canada and is now their Artistic Director. She is from my hometown and is a fucking Canadian national treasure.
I don't know why the restaurant looks so damned bright. Probably because I was in the kitchen and the lights are way on in there. The floor was actually a nice dim candlelit situation.
Anyway, it isn't as cool to cook for a celeb when you aren't the chef. No one is asking you to come out for compliments or anything. When I was helming though, I met some cool people.
One time I cooked for Hurricane Carter. Fucking Hurricane Carter man! I swear to god that dude was so nice. Sure a lot of people are nice, but frankly, if I had been through what he had been through, I would be drunk under a bridge or dead by now. That guy is amazing to me.
I mean, he's the kind of guy who compliments the kitchen when he enjoys his meal for one. That means a lot to your kitchen staff, people. We hardly ever hear it, though you should know, if you tell your server to compliment the kitchen, they will always come to the kitchen and tell us. Never worry that we won't hear it. We will and we will be thrilled.