now is a good time to panic

culinary wonder part II

…continued from culinary wonder part I


Four days later she gets out and immediately calls her job. She has lost her job (clearly) and since her apartment was provided  by her work, she loses that too. She moves in with a friend and picks up odd jobs working on boat rigging and as an electrician. She does this for about four months, messing around with pills again… but much more careful to not get caught. It didn’t help that throughout the entire ordeal, her boyfriend got into heroin while they were living in Baltimore. There wasn’t much she could say to him without being a hypocrite, so they became like Bonnie and Clyde. She gets out of detox and he’s still messing around with the serious shit. She kept putting in applications with the restaurants in the area and finally got frustrated. She went down to a big schmancy resort in the Keys with a resume and met with the HR people. They asked about a drug test and she said, sure, whatever. Miraculously she passed the drug test and got a call from the executive chef a few days later.


Theresa was asked to do a cooking demo in lieu of an application, which was something she hadn’t done since culinary school. She got super fucked up the night before, found a ride, and was there to do her demo at 1100. She was so nervous and hung over that she was shaking and nauseous and miserable. She walks in and it’s the biggest kitchen she’s ever seen; millions of dollars of equipment and the kitchen alone is bigger than most restaurants. She got a quick tour and was handed a piece of steak and piece of halibut. This place is huge and there are about 50 cooks running around. She doesn’t know where anything was, but managed to bang out two decent entrees. The executive chef comes in and he’s a short fat french guy followed by a huge German and a huge Swiss. They come in, taste her entrees, and don’t say anything. Finally the Swiss and the french guy sit him down and go down her entire resume from beginning to end. She came clean about everything that had happened. They asked her more questions about work ethic, creativity in the kitchen, and all kinds of things, then thanked her and she left.


A week later she gets a phone call from the Swiss guy asking her when she could start. She said whenever and he said Friday… one of the busiest days in the restaurant industry. She has no idea how anything is prepared, barely knew the menu, and had no clue where anything was in the kitchen. She got oriented in the kitchen, helped with prep work, and just chilled. When they opened, the Swiss informed her that she was going to be running expo. That’s running sautee so all hot foods went through her, coordinating tickets, and keeping an eye on everything. She’s learning as she goes, asking the chef a million questions, and is nervous as hell. It’s her first time back in a kitchen for about six months and is super intimidated. No major mistakes are made, and the next thing she knows, the big German guy from her demo is standing there. Turns out he’s the food and beverage director for the entire resort. That is a huge deal. He and the Swiss guy have been standing there watching her for hours.


This went on for three days.


Finally they left her in charge of that area for the rest of the slow season. She’d find herself in the office every now and then for minor mistakes- mostly from not asking the right questions. She begged them to teach her everything they knew and they pushed her harder. She became a machine in the kitchen and was picking things up right and left. As things are finally coming together at work, her personal life is falling apart again. She’d get up and have 10 or 12 beers in her before heading to work, and would have no idea how she got to bed at night. No matter how fucked up she was, though, once she hit those kitchen doors, everything was fine. The busy season started and the amount of hours she was working kept her drinking mostly under control.


4 Comments so far
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Sounds like a novel in the works to me. Wondering what’s going to happen next.

Comment by timeofchangeblog

She sounds like she’s a genius in the kitchen & has amazing talent!

Comment by triing2survive

omg you have no idea. Maybe I can get her to share a few recipes for you guys. Her food is roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head-and-moan amazing.

Comment by kathelldorfer

So, when you find your bliss, all the pieces of your life fall into place and everyday a joyful gift. That is a valuable lesson for all of us.

Comment by susan

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