This line from one of my favorite songs kept rattling around my head. My sous chef and I finally started cooking in our gleaming new kitchen. It’s still a long way from the nuclear battle sub that it will eventually resemble, but it’s ready for a maiden voyage around the bay.
We stowed all the items from our initial shopping trip in the correct berths and opened our knife rolls. Of course, doing something as simple as putting away the groceries led to several realizations of where we had things wrong. This led to 10 new organizational projects being added to our already well-populated to-do list. Such is life, It is absolutely imperative that we solve these problems with clinical and unsparing professionalism. There are no mulligans in high volume food service, and you can’t toss your clubs into the water hazard and stomp off the course. It must all coalesce. It must all hang together and work, somehow.
The ravenous hordes are coming. Indeed, they must come because without their business we will cease to exist. We are preparing to be the hot new place in town. After all, this ain’t a lemonade stand we’re opening here. We are a 12,000 sq. ft. a la carte restaurant and event space with a 3,000 sq. ft. monster of an industrial kitchen. The walk-in is as big as your first apartment. The hot line is 24 feet of pure stainless diesel fuel. I have a tilt-skillet, combi-oven, thermal circulator, and cryo-vac machine. I am loaded for bear.
No expense has been spared in providing me with everything I require to face the challenge head on that is high volume professional cooking. Now is the time when I put up or shut up. My partners have heard me say what I intend to do for months, now I have to deliver. I quiver with delicious anticipation in this moment because I know that I am taking the first steps into a future of my making. If I succeed, I will be instrumental in creating a living, breathing thing of beauty, a great restaurant. If I fail…no, let’s not go there.
It’s simple, really, All I have to do is create a killer menu and hire a team of culinary ninjas. Buy all the food. Cook all the food. Open the doors and march towards the buzz saw. Simple. That’s why today was so special. It’s the soft, chewy center of why I love opening restaurants. Two chefs cooking in a pristine environment, figuring things out. Having panic attacks. Feeling elated about the future and loving the present.
I am sure that there are many hard days to come. We will fight and bitch. We will suffer and work hard, but today was a good day.
Chef Gary Moran