Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Today was another quiet but good day. I was scheduled to work in the restaurant, but they had one extra person on pastry doing a trial day and another extra person in the restaurant staging here for three weeks so they sent me to go help out the bar. I did a bunch of pastry jobs and made sure everything was in good shape, along with some other cleaning and odd jobs and at the end of the night, everyone had to pinch in and do some inventory which involved weighing a bunch of product. This meant we stayed later but it was still an early night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Very Quiet Tuesday

Today was extremely quiet. The restaurant was closed as it is every Tuesday, so it was just the bar, and we only did 25 covers all day long. There was only me plus two other chefs in. I was actually getting bored for once. I did all the prep I needed to do, but was well stocked with everything else and didn't want to get ahead of myself and end up having to throw product out. So I did a lot of cleaning and was still bored, but the good news was I got home early.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Pets!

So, long story short, a neighbor here is gone away for seven weeks and asked me if I would house sit for them and take care of their cat and two chinchillas. Of course I said yes, and am very excited to have three pets for a little bit. They are all very friendly and affectionate, and fun to play with. Also a great stress relief for after work!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Busy Sunday

Today was brutal. I don't have the numbers of covers we did today, but it was extremely busy. The problem was, it wasn't consistently busy all day long either, it came in long, crazy bursts that gave you seven orders at once and made you run out of prep while having zero work space to top back up. I was mostly doing the pastry section in the bar, and there was also an afternoon tea session going on in the restaurant today. I didn't really have much time for prep work between orders, but luckily I was well stocked and didn't run out of anything.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Afternoon Tea Prep

Today was kind of an all-over the place day. I was technically situated in the bar on the pastry section, and initially got lots of prep done for that section. Next I was asked to do a million favors for every other section in the restaurant and bar, Then, because it was busy tonight and the two chefs on the restaurant pastry section could barely get their own prep done for tonight, I got to do a lot of afternoon tea preparations for tomorrow. This included rolling nougat, making a big batch of cake batter, chopping plums, and cutting brownies.This also required staying quite late tonight and all the cleaning didn't get done until the end of the night.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Puttering Right Along

Today was a fairly good day. I was on pastry in the bar again and felt quite productive. I got a big batch of homemade vanilla ice cream done, a big batch of apple crumble done, a batch of banana bread, a batch of scones, and a bunch of other daily pastry things done, along with a lot of cleaning. 
It's a bad burn, but it's also a thumbs-up :)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Feels Like A Saturday

Today was a long day. I was in pastry in the bar and actually felt quite productive today - I made vanilla panna cottas, a quadruple batch of sticky toffee puddings, lemon cakes, caramelized pears, popcorn ice cream, cheesecake cream, fruit plates, chocolate plates, grapes, crossiants, raisin rolls, petit four cakes, chocolate cookies, raisin cookies, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, etc.
But for some reason we stayed very late cleaning and stuff, and chef even made us a midnight staff meal. Everyone was in a very good, joking mood at the end of the night though.
At least I see the sun in the morning on my walk to work!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dinner Staring Back At You

Today wasn't a bad day. but it did involve some pretty tediuous and not so desireable jobs. Job number one was making chips - hoisting a huge bag of dirty potatoes around, peeling them all, and using the french fry cutter to cut them all. Later on I got to rip the heads off a hiuge case of prawns that were still moving, and watch as, even with no head, they still moved. Appetizing.

Today I also got to make banana bread, apple crumble, chicken goujons, potato gratin, and other jobs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Feels Like An Actual Weekend

...because I got three days off in a row. Not that I usually do too much on my days off, but the break to catch up on sleep and chores and explore the area a bit more is always nice!

Monday, November 21, 2016

International City Exchange

Today both my housemates and I were all off work. My housemate found a youth socialization and exchange meeting in a nearby city this evening, and decided to drive us there. It was basically just a bunch of young people from countries around the world coming together to meet new people and chat. We also went bowling, played pool, had a nice dinner, and explored the city a bit while we were there. It was nice to get out of the house and out of town for a little while.

Veggie Burger

Snickers Dessert

Christmas lights in the city

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Beautiful "Island"

Today was a relaxing day off for me, and it was also a beautiful and warm sunny day. So I went for a nice hike to a nearby "island". I say island because the name of the place is goat island, but it was not really an island and I saw zero goats. Nevertheless, it was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking! It was the perfect weather to explore such a picturesque area!

Late afternoon sunshine over the ocean

Goat Island Beach

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Busy Restaurant Day

Today I was back in the restaurant for the day because they were quite busy tonight. I was on pastry again, and although it had been awhile since I had been there, I remembered how to do most of the things. I made dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache, olive oil crackers, miniature birthday cheesecakes with white chocolate collars, seaweed brioche bread, onion potato bread, spelt beer bread, poached pears, passionfruit jelly, carrot sorbet, , meringue and whatever else I can't remember. During the busy service, I got to heat and cut most of the bread, plate the petit fours, prep the tasting plates, and help plate the desserts. Everyone seemed to be in a very good mood today, and chef was very nice to me. He asked if everyone was being nice to me, and if not to let him know. 
slicing bread

Friday, November 18, 2016

When You Do (Or Don't) Everything Wrong

Today seemed to start off as an ok day for me. I was in the pastry section of the bar alone today and thought I was progressing along well, getting a lot done. That was until chef got me to do some other random things, told me things I had done were shit, and blamed me for something I didn't do. I can take responsibility for my own mistakes, but not when I am not the one to blame. The day wasn't terrible, but parts of it were.
Looking forward to seeing the sunshine again...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning

Today for some reason everyone in the kitchen was going xrazy with the cleaning!We didn't have that many people booked tonight so during the beginning of service when it was quiet - everyone was cleaning. Not just the regular cleaning we do everyday, but intense, deep cleaning. Taking out refrigerator drawers and scrubbing, taking all the trays out of the freezer and replacing them with new ones, moving work tables and benches and scrubbing behind them, etc. This is a great thing to do, but what always struck me as odd is why our kitchen porters don't do the bulk of that work for us. Every other kitchen I have worked in, the chefs have focused promarily on the food and service, and the kitchen porters are so called not because they just do dishes, but because they also clean, organize, replenish stock, and do other odd jobs around the kicthen that does not involve the preparation or handling of food. Here, we even sweep and mop the floors ourselves. I understand cleaning up after oneself and organizing your own station, but add on all the extra cleaning we do and we are there an extra two hours or so after service!
Other than that today went well, I prepped in the bar making sticky toffee pudding apple crisp, butter cookies, etc.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Busy As A Bee

Today I felt I had a very productive and busy day, zipping right along with prep. I made double batches of lemon scones and banana bread, I made breadcrumbs, breaded a bunch of fish, cut a big batch of onions grated cheese, cleaned chicken, plated desserts, and more. I had a good long prep list of big tasks to keep me going and enjoyed this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quiet Day

Today was a a fairly good day. There weren't many of us in since the restaurant is closed today, and since it was a Tuesday, it also wasn't very busy. I was on pastry doing desserts, but today I also prepped a whole bunch of petit fours and helped with some other prep work. I did a lot of cleaning. I like working on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays as the atmosphere is more relaxed and the kitchen is quieter. 
Fruit selection

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beach #2

Today I had a chill day off aside from the loud chainsaw that woke me up far too early and went on for most of the day. I explored the beach again, plus found another beach nearby. 
Beach #2

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Desserts On A Sunday

Today was a fairly good day. I began early helping out with the breakfast shift, during which I baked off and prepared a bunch of petit fours for service later on, sliced some bread made a new batch of bread, and helped plate  breakfasts when it got busy.

For the rest of the day I was mostly working on the pastry section in the bar, doing some mise en place jobs and plating the desserts. Since it was Sunday, it was pretty busy and I got quite a few dessert orders. I helped out with a few other jobs as well. I was working with another young guy who was very friendly and we helped each other out a lot. Chef got upset with me for a few things, but do be honest I still really don't see what the issue was.
chocolate plate for the bar

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Many Different Ways

Alas, it is that time where I express a certain frustration I have experience in every kitchen in which I have worked; differences in explanations. This is where one chef shows you how something is done, then another chef shows you that it should be done a different way, then that chef quits and another chef tells you they were both wrong, then the head chef shows you his way. And all along, you people get mad with you and you have to remember so many changes and then wonder why there aren't standardized recipes for these things and how did there end up being do many different methods?

That was kind of my day today. From plating desserts, to hollowing tomatoes, to blitzing soup, chopping veg, and washing floors, I have been corrected (or misinformed). I was in the bar again today doing mostly random prep jobs that kept me quite busy. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chicken, Potatoes, And Pastries, Oh My

Today was ok minus the two nosebleeds in the kitchen, another person quitting, and a chef I had not worked with before not being the warmest.
I was put in the bar again, but not really on a particular section, just doing prep jobs as needed.
I breaded chicken fingers, peeled potatoes, cut fries, made frangipan, picked chicken, made shortbread cookies, chopped leeks, hollowed tomatoes, sliced bread, spun ice cream, set up for service, helped with a few plates, rolled gnocchi, and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. 
No one was in a particularly sour mood but I am still feeling a little deer in the headlights. 
berry creme brulee with white chocolate ice cream

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Being Walked Through It

Today I ended up on the pastry section in the bar again - and actually doing pastry prep work. I made chocolate fondants, apple compote, apple crumble mix, raspberry cakes, sliced bread, cut shortbread cookies, washed grapes, made ice cream, etc. And luckily, this time the sous chef walked me through all the new tasks I had done before and checked in with me, which I really appreciate. I feel like that's the way new employees should be trained. It's helpful, and if you are shown properly once, then you will know from then on!

Mid-morning a health inspector showed up and everyone went crazy! Not that everything wasn't in order, but we ran around wiping everything done, and putting lids on and labelling stuff and making sure she couldn't nail us for anything. Which put us quite behind on orders, but I think we passed ok!

Side Note: I was featured in a newspaper back home for my recent olympic gold medal win!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

From Restaurant To Bar

Today was a weird day. I was supposed to be back in the restaurant on the pastry section again, but someone in the bar did not show up for work, so I got placed in the bar plating the pastry section but completing mostly prep for the starter section. I really did not know what I was doing, and neither did the chef working on the starters as it was his first time working on the starter section, so it was a lot of questions. It wasn't overly busy, but there was a lot of prep to be done. 
Today I made blackberry creme brulees

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Induction Training

Today was technically another day off but I had to go in to work today for a few hours to do induction training. I actually enjoyed this, as it gave me the opportunity to learn more about the property, brand, and sister properties. I was also shown around the entire hotel, including into some of the rooms and the spa area; which was very nice to see as working in the kitchen I am usually all behind the scenes.
Other than that it was the first rainy day since I have been here so I didn't venture out for a walk today. 
Even on a rainy day, this place is beautiful!

Monday, November 07, 2016

First Day Off

Today I had a day off and I used it to sleep in, do some studying (reviewing menus and typing up recipes and procedures to further familiarize myself with the operation). I also went for another sunny walk around the town and met up with a very friendly dog who decided to join me!
just look at that face!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Fourth Day Of Work

Today was a much different day than the past three. The restaurant is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, which meant I was working in the bar. I began earlier today as well, meaning my shift began helping out with breakfast. It was much quieter and emptier in the kitchen today with only one other chef besides me there at the beginning; and only five chefs in total in the entire day. 

Breakfast was quite easy and pretty fun too. I was pretty familiar with the style of breakfast being served from previous work experience, so the chef simply explained to me the different breakfast options on the menu and I was to heat everything up that he needed to plate the breakfast. I cooked some eggs, made some porridge, fried some bacon, baked some scones, etc. It was fast and furious in a short time.
Cheese Plate in the bar
Next I moved onto the pastry section in the bar. Someone quickly showed me the dishes, but left out a lot of details about the section; despite the fact I had zero concept of the menu or mise en place of this section. Anyways, I managed to figure stuff out for myself. In between getting dessert orders, I would do some more prep jobs. I also organized and cleaned the station, which really needed it. The pastry section is in a separate room across the hall from the main kitchen, so I would hear a shout, "desserts" and run to get the order. I liked being alone and having my own working space for once. I wanted to help in the main kitchen with starters and mains during the mad rushes, but I really Didn't know hoe to help and in that small kitchen I figured I would just be more in the way.

The atmosphere today in the bar was so much different than the restaurant atmosphere. Sure speed, accuracy, and neatness were all the aims, but they were not reinforced quite as much. The bar food is also not as refined or detail-heavy as in the restaurant; and I don't feel like I'll be patronized to so much as take a second to get a sip of water.

Overall, an enjoyable day and one where I felt I did my work with more confidence.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Third Day Of Work

Today was a better day. Not that the last two days were bad days, but the first few days of anything new are always rough. But today I felt like I actually new something. Chef had a nice friendly chat with me this morning. I was able to realize what tasks needed to be done without having to ask. I new how to do the tasks without explanation. I was trusted with plating dishes. Everyone was in a bit of a more light-hearted, joking mood today. I know my way around the kitchen.
The road to work

Friday, November 04, 2016

Second Day Of Work

Push, push, push; I was in labor. No, I wasn't having a baby (thank goodness) but laboring over a bunch of prep today. Yet I kept hearing 'push, push, push', like if I could work any faster I'd be sold as a robot. 
Today was much like yesterday, except I did some more, keep-busy, simply but important tasks and also got to plate some dessert dishes tonight. We were a bit busier tonight - with 47 covers. 
The manager of the hotel also came into the kitchen to introduce himself to me today - to meet the chef from so far away - so that was pretty cool!
We use a lot of flowers from our gardens on our dishes

Thursday, November 03, 2016

First Day Of Work

A deer in headlights. No I didn't see one, I'm describing myself on my first day of work.
I was in the pastry section of the Michelin Star restaurant today working with two other guys. I didn't really know the kitchen at all - menu, location of equipment, food storage, other workers, etc. But I was thrown directly into the job after being briefly shown around and introduced to some people. Today I helped prepare chocolate ganache, berry jelly, apple jelly, olive oil crackers, polenta crackers, seaweed brioche bread, potato onion bread, spelt bread, nougat, mini cakes, birthday cakes, and a few other odds and ends. I also got a look at how the dishes were plated, and an idea of how service goes. We did about 35 covers tonight, which isn't very busy. 

Overall I think my first day went quite well, but I still have a lot to take in and learn. I must say though, despite being the ONLY female among a dozen or so males in the kitchen, everyone is very nice and respectful to me. 
on my walk to work

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Beautiful, Warm November Day

I don't begin work until tomorrow, so today was another day of exploring my new village. And it was a beautiful, warm and sunny day - the perfect weather for a morning stroll on the beach, plus an afternoon walk around town.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Exploring Beaches, Cliffs, and Trails

Today was my first full day here, and naturally I did not work today. So I took that opportunity to explore my surroundings a little bit. There is so much to explore, I'm not sure I'll even get to all of it in the seven months I will be here! I saw sandy beaches, huge waves, jagged cliffs, rugged coastal lines, rock paths, dirt trails, stone structures, sail boats, and much more! I cannot believe how beautiful this tiny village is!!