Under Fire: Heat of the pan

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.

There are few parallels between writing and cooking. Both involve creativity and dedication, but the similarities pretty much end there. Except, of course, for the use of your hands.

A saute pan that has been in a 500° oven for five minutes should probably not be grabbed bare-handed, for example; it makes both cooking and writing difficult.

But there was no choice but to soldier on through the day, a day in which I sat on saute again -- and once again survived. More important, I've started learning "the dance," the repetitive moves that really define a cook.

I also had an inspiration in the dregs of the night, after we'd mopped up and were getting ready to go: Someone knocked a bottle of Cholula (a mainstay in any kitchen with Mexicans) to the floor, and after the glass was picked up, the Cholula left a very interesting design on our otherwise clean floor.

Maybe it'll find its way onto a plate today.

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Tyler Nemkov
Contact: Tyler Nemkov