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Under Fire: Awaiting a wild weekend in the kitchen

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Oh! The great culinary gods have bestowed upon me the most exciting of jobs to start my quest to sous chef stardom: inventory! I have seen many others do inventory, but I've never done it myself.

But nothing captures the glory of a restaurant kitchen like counting how many boxes of salt we have, or weighing the garbanzo beans. This all started at 9 a.m., and went solidly for several hours until I was fortunate enough to grab a 90-minute break at home.

When I got back, chef and I then had a talk about getting our line crew ready for Saturday. For a workplace that sometimes seems brash and unrestrained, it's funny how you need to think of the compatibility and personalities of people working together.

After a good discussion, it dawns on me that I will be on saute this coming Saturday. I have not yet worked saute alone, but it's a relatively simple station where you have someone working the wheel (between saute and grill) making chicken, some risotto and a few sides. But when the board is full of tickets and I don't have the repetition part down, that could make for an interesting Saturday night -- interesting in the same way that getting your ass kicked by a trained assassin would be.

That discussion with chef, coupled with the fact that I let some less-than-bueno kale get through our back door, made for a day that ended with me feeling both excited and a little overwhelmed.

As much as I want to jump around like a toddler in my living room and do an I-don't-have-homework! dance, I realize I now have some real responsibility. But for right now, I need to focus on a new, simple goal: Get saute down by Saturday.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.