Practically friends

Said goodbye to some friends today. At Thanksgiving, my grandson asked in wonder, “Why are you going back to school?” Or, really, WTF? I could as easily have said the people as the food.

Kitchen work attracts an extraordinary percentage of intelligent, humorous, hard-working people. For every lazy ignorant jerk, there are five or six people who will jump head-first into whatever job has to be done — pile of pots and pans or plate-up for 600. Not for the hotel or the restaurant or the college, but for their buds.

I will miss my friend Amy, a tough little chick, and Tiffany, another one. When the cooking and the presentation and the eating are done, Amy absolutely drove the dish line to get everything cleaned up faster than we thought possible.  Tiffany was simply awesome on the power washer. The kitchen floor shook beneath her.

Allen, exec chef at the Sheraton, scored a 98 on today’s practical. No surprise. Yeah, he’s already a chef, but his platings are significantly better than anything I’ve seen in this town.

AJ — Jamaica Joe — is drifting away too, slowly, on island time. When he left today he turned around to everyone and said, “I love you.”

Sticking around are Josh, pining for LA, and Robert, who is planning a Puerto Rican catering company. Should be a good time.

I did okay today on the practical with mystery box #1. I made Cream of Mushroom soup, Filet Mignon,  Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. Protein went past medium rare, veg a little soft, got a 91.  I’ll take it.

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