Part 13: Living the Dream
This is the latest installment in a continuing series that documents my personal quest to become the host of my own cooking show. Since this is a relatively new “career,” there are no vocational programs or community college courses to prepare me for it. From what I have seen, the two most important elements in securing such a position are passion for food and plain old dumb luck. Born with a passion for food, I set out to make my own luck.
Living the Dream
So day one at Mars Hill Café is not at all what I am ready for. I’m training with the guy who has been working the kitchen. This is his first restaurant job. He started it about five weeks before I was hired. He is afraid of over seasoning the food so he just doesn’t do it. That first day we had five tables the entire shift. It becomes evident that I have my work cut out for me.
The menu seems a bit adventurous for a lunch-only place where customers need to be in and out in 20 minutes or less. Chicken Alfredo with a sauce that’s built after the customer orders is a little out of place. It’s delicious but it takes 25 minutes to prepare. The menu is going need to be a complete overhaul.
Then there’s the mission of the café. The sign on the wall reads:
Love Wins. That’s cute. But the mission is something I can really get behind, giving the profits to the needy, after having been downsized twice in as many years. I am needless to say sympathetic to the plight of the recently unemployed.
In just a day or so the word is out, there’s a new chef in town and some of the old regulars come back to check out the food. The immediate reaction is good. The main thing I hear week one is the food is so much more flavorful. That’s a little thing I like to call salt and pepper. By week’s end we hire a sous chef and I am done with my evaluation. Week two we’ll start making real changes.
Though the money is a bit sub-standard the people are nice and the atmosphere is great. Plus I love the mission. I think I’m going to like it here.