shuna lydon

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« Opening A Restaurant in San Francisco, the SF Chronicle | Main | Today »

11 September 2007

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Shuna, I am so enjoying reading this, especially since I think I may never see you again! Seriously, this piece brought tears to my eyes. I am also hoping you'll eventually write about how pastry cheffing actually works timewise...when do you arrive? What do you do when you arrive? Do you leave and then come back when it's time to plate and serve? Or does someone else do that? I've always wondered. Love to you, and please take care of yourself during this time of initiation!

It is so weird how many times it feels like we cook for those around us, our fellow cooks, chefs, managers, and not the people that actually are going to eat the food. We cook for the organism that is the restaurant.
Maybe it is not "we," but rather me. In any case, that is how I often feel.
On another note...your assistants have no idea how lucky they are.

i felt the same way about where i worked in Austin. everyone was a space oddity weirdo freak alcoholic cokehead and i loved them all. i am, in vain, trying to find that feeling again and i am failing big time and it is frustrating as shit. i'm not going to find it anywhere but in that place i worked. if i want it again, i have to go back to Austin. if i go back to Austin, i have TRULY failed.

/that was dark, sorry
//i am supposed to be evolving and evolution hurts

however, i have learned something else -- to be close with my co-workers but not get so close that it hurts when they leave. people come and go every day; to get wrapped up in them sets you up to be hurt time and time again.

right now, i work with people who are lazy and don't give a shit about what they're doing aside from drawing a check every other week. i had to tell my chef today things that i see on a daily basis that he apparently can not see, something i really don't think i should be doing. what this guy doesn't understand is that he is leading by example -- when he tells me he HATES working there, he is part of the problem. he doesn't realize it though. i thought for sure today would be my last day but a girl's gotta work. i'm just not sure if i'm ready for the Strip right now. maybe tomorrow.

xoxoxoxoxo

Shuna, I am so proud of you... and so happy for you. Your words are flying off the screen with an energy like no other. Fan-fucking-TASTIC!

What you've written about working in restaurants is what I've felt about working in social services (though without the active alcohol and drug addictions). You're not there for the "great" hours and "wonderful" pay, or for the clients - you're there because you and your colleagues/friends/co-traumatized folks/ people in the same damn handbasket as you are there too and you love them, even the ones who make you crazy.

Saw bits of the menu on tablehopper today and it sounds exciting! But are there going to be peaches to even put on the menu in Oct?

I was given something to take back to SF for you by the good folks at my favorite turkish-north african restaurant.

I'm ready to get back to SF...but NYC beckons tomorrow.

today is also the day that Sens got a writeup on Tablehopper :)

http://www.tablehopper.com/newsletter/070911/index.html

I'm crushed that I'll be out of town for almost 2 weeks when you open, though -- I need to make a reservation for the day I get back.

felt that was right there in the damn kitchen even though I am on a wonderful vacation right now.
made me miss every person I ever worked with in my life...thanks for that.......in a funny way it morally uplifting just to know that someone else knows.

Bravo! I couldn't have put it better myself. I always liked Bourdain's take on it:
"we work while you play, we play while you sleep"
It's an underculture that we are all very proud/desperate to be a part of.

I feel your pain on losing staff members, we lost our first head chef 1DAY before open a year ago! It actually turned into a wee blessing in disguise as it forced all 3 partners in our business to get off our backsides and REALLY work to fill the gap. We are a better team now because of it.

I have one difference of opinion though. I have always viewed someone who calls him/herself a chef as an artist, I view a cook as; just that, someone who cooks. Maybe this is through bad experiences over the years but this seems to have developed into our kitchen's basic principle. We are a kitchen full of cooks, we cook good food well, simply, quickly and without fuss. (garnishes be damned).

But this is only a matter of opinion.

Regards
James

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