We returned from the West coast and I set myself to finding more stages before going back to No 9 Park for another round. After a few scheduling mistakes, confusions, miscommunications, I confirmed a day at Clio, Ken Oringer’s restaurant in the Eliot Hotel on Commonwealth Ave. I arrived at noon, changed into my uniform, and set to work roasting chestnuts, peeled pears and jerusalem artichokes, picked sea beans, sliced baby turnips (incorrectly the first time, then repeated), cut thin rounds of spicy peppers, and pulled apart hearts of palm. Throughout prep, only a few people introduced themselves, or seemed interested in who I was. There was little talking, I had no interaction with the chef, and I largely felt uncomfortable.
For service, I was teamed with garde manger who actually seemed down a man that night. I was taught how to do the various kinds of tempura and made the various fried appetizers all night. I got the groove of it after a while, helped out where I could, and joined in cleaning up after service. There was no free meal, so taste of what they cooked, no conversation with the chef. I finally walked up to the chef, shook his hand, and left. Good to learn what kinds of kitchens I don’t want to work in, and have something to compare to the largely positive experiences I’ve had thus far.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to schedule one at Mistral, Oleana, or Harvest, as I had been hoping. But I was about to stage at No 9 Park for a second time, so I thought I’d hold off and see how it went.