Working in a restaurant isn’t like working anywhere else. The heat, sweat, furious speed, constant pressure and never-ending workload can really take a toll on the human body and mind. It’s an environment that makes people crazy. I’ve witnessed this first hand over many years stalking this dimly-lit wasteland of sauté pans, cigarette butts, swear words and thousand-yard-stares… And maybe I’ve been a bit damaged in the process as well…. Maybe I’m just being really melodramatic.
The people who subject themselves to this, who willingly march into the meat grinder are an interesting breed. They come from every background, every culture and every level of psychological/emotional stability you can imagine. They are amazing people, my people.
I’ve spent the last six years serving with one such team of people. The heroic crew of the starship Wasabiya have been right alongside me battling through more lunch and dinner services than I can clearly recall. A lot of good food was made, a lot of people were satisfied (heh heh) and I learned a lot about what makes a great restaurant great.
Ingredients and ambiance, techniques and fancy equipment are all really keen, but it’s the people that really make or break a joint. Front and back, it’s all about the people.
So yeah, it’s time to say goodbye to these people.
Bye Yuki, you have been the rock to my ocean, the cup to my tea. You’re calm and infinite knowledge of tricks and techniques saw us through every stormy night of service. I’ll miss our talks and so much more. Thanks for the wine!
Doctor Kuma… I’ll see you in Okinawa.
Steven, my partner in crime, work wife and constant co-conspirator in all things freakish and obscene. You’re the man now! Take care of the boys and keep the fridges stocked. I’ll miss playing all the characters we created: Hans ‘n Franz, The Dudes, Wendell and the voice in his head, Wülfgang and all the rest.
My boys: Dante, Frank the Tank and Tyron. Finest bunch of throat-slitters I’ve ever worked with. I expect you’ll be running the joint in little under two months.
Lance, who I missed saying goodbye to. You are the best ! Watch out for half-inserts.
The ladies: Yuka, Zuzu, Madame de Baumbarchutte (the shenanigans will continue presently), Trixie Boom Boom, Jeanette (Sorry, but some of you never got nicknames), Melissa, Boudicca (my big Celtic warrior mama!) Sparkles, Nibbles and everyone I missed. You are all the best, bravest, most beautiful bunch of friends, confidants and professional badasses that I could ever hope to work with. To the front end past and present, I tip my hat. It’s been an honour serving with you.
And finally, Eugene.
It’s been a hell of a ride chef. I’ve learned so much and did so much more than I thought I was capable of. I’ll never forget the day I walked in and sat down at the bar, called to you by name and asked for a job. You must have thought, “Who is this freak?” *laughs*
Thanks for being my mentor, teacher, taskmaster and friend.
It’s been fun.
Adios Amigos! Auf Wiederluege! Sayonara! Adieau!