I'm sorry I don't have a recipe to post inbetween chef stories, but I've been trying to accomplish a million errands before work starts and I haven't had time to cook. Besides, I'm dieting and I'm sure no one really wants a recipe on how to make a tasteless salad with the right balance of protein, carbs, and fats. How un-français!
I sometimes feel that I'm living back in India because it takes a whole day to accomplish simple tasks. Grocery shopping takes me at least two hours because I hop from one little shop to the next for meat, fish, cheese, and wine chatting with all the local vendors. Then it's over to the farmer's market in my neighborhood for produce.
I know this notion is very romantique to those not living in Paris – but sometimes I miss good ole' American convenience. I often day dream about driving to Whole Foods in my huge American car. Parking in the spacious parking lot. Shopping in a store that has multiple options and exciting international products – many of them organic. Putting all my groceries in my huge American trunk and driving away into the sunset. Oh, and of course, pulling up into my double driveway and parking inside my house. Eeetzh uh good dreem, non?
Today was spent trying to get my knives sharpened before 8 A.M. tomorrow morning. A feat nearly impossible in any country. However, I found a place on the outskirts of Paris and metroed myself over there this afternoon. It was a tiny little shop with only one man working. Behind his counter were the biggest spinning sharpening stones that I have ever seen. They were taller (and wider) than me! I kicked myself a few times for not bringing my camera along. He took my knives and told me to return at 5 P.M.
I hopped back on the metro and killed time in St. Germain lécher la fenêtre (window licking) and people watching in Jardin du Luxembourgh until the blue skies burst into grey torrential downpour. Then I ran for cover as best I could in my stiletto heels and huddled under an awning barely wide enough for all us sun worshippers. No matter we bonded in the rain and clapped when it was over. I metroed back over to my knife guy and there my beauties were awaiting me in sharpened splendor.
So tomorrow's the big day. Back at work at the 3-star restaurant I call home. I don't know what I will be doing but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will still be at the meat station, it's interesting, and I like to work with meat. I like to hack up chickens and debone lamb and peel the legs off of pigeons. I'm wierd like that.
However, there are many other stations that are equally fascinating, they just happen to be in areas of the kitchen that are twenty degrees hotter and next to the chefs that yell a lot. Eeeeek!
There will be a whole new crew of apprentices tomorrow and we are somehow supposed to be ready for dinner service after a month of being closed with a totally new staff. Twenty new young chefs will be arriving tomorrow. Twenty. Oh la la la la la la. Should be interesting. I'll let you know how it goes...