Under Fire: A tale of two twenties

Our former Cafe Society intern just decided to chuck college in favor of a real education: as a sous chef. In Under Fire, he chronicles his daily trials and tribulations in the kitchen.

Cold weather lights my fire, and since this was the first real day of it, I couldn't help but stare out the window -- it was like a Playboy model was doing naughty things out there. Drastic changes in weather also get my mind rolling, all for food reasons.

It's amazing how much food preferences can change with the weather. In the summer, a fresh, luscious salad is welcome; serve me that today, though, and I would have thrown it right back in the garden. Instead, I began to have rich, dense dreams of French onion soup and cassoulet, yearned for a warm baguette with some salted butter.

Mid-yearn, I glanced over at Jose the dishwasher, wrist deep in a mess I'd made. He's twenty years old and so am I. We are two people of the same age in the same place, yet our lives are so different.

He doesn't give a fuck what kind of tomato he's cleaning off a pan; he's just looking to earn a dollar to send home to his kid and wife in Mexico. If I had a kid and wife right now, I would probably have some sort of reality show on MTV.

Regardless of how hard I work, he's had to work harder. As miserable as I've been at times, he's had it much, much worse.

I see the world through hamburger-lensed glasses, but sometimes I need to take them off and realize how lucky I am to be in the situation that I am.

No matter the weather.

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Tyler Nemkov
Contact: Tyler Nemkov