Its hard going to a new kitchen and knowing what to expect. The only thing you carry with you are your knives and experience hoping neither of them fail you.  The anxiousness is really what eats up in your belly before you walk into that door.  Everyone has gotten it whether its before an interview, a first date  or walking into the #28 restaurant in the world, Martin Berasategui.  You never fully know what to expect, it really goes back to the cliche of prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Fortunatley we had it pretty easy since Tracy the previous basquestage was there to introduce us to everyone, show us the kitchen and make us not a couple of nervous wrecks.

First Impression right away was at how big the kitchen was.  I had never seen anything like it for this type of an environment.  Sure the kitchen at the peninsula hotel was huge, but there were several different departments and 4 restaurants in there.  This place has 60+ stages and does 40-50 covers per shift (operating at lunch and dinner).  For the most part stages usually only go there for internships that last three months.  So there is a bit of a good cycle of stages that go through that kitchen. Its a big kitchen putting out beautiful plates, perfectly executed.  The station Ive started out on is the fish station.  It has a really good team on it right now that I have been learning a lot from.  Fortunate for me, there are a couple people on it that speak english which has been a great help as well.

To put it simply we work 15 hour shifts,wed-saturday then get a half day (9 hours) on Sunday, oh joy.  Though on the doubles, we do actually get a siesta which has so far become a true nap time for me.  I cant really complain because 2 days off is such a blessing.

There is so much more to tell but for now, I leave you with this…

Waiting for the first order right before service, its quite the army of stages in there.

View of the fish station.

Mauricio cleaning a lenguado (sole)

I was trying to take a picture of the setup of the line when David stops me.  I said I was just doing it so I can remember it.  He then says ok, but take a picture of me first, so you remember me!  Defidently one of the funnier guys in the kitchen.

Here he is again showing us how to torch the pig tails.

Which we then chilled and bagged in our Sammic Vacuum sealer.

How beautiful they are.

Published by marcobahena


5 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Hello Marco from the Hot windy city (110 heat index) you call home Chicago. I have been following your blog and i wanted to introduce myself. My name is Terry Gibbs and I am the Sammic rep in Chicago. I was fortunate enouph to meet the Sammic team at the 2010 NRA show and that bagan a special relationship with the company. I have extensive experiance with prep equipment and Sammic brought me to the factory, stayed at the Niza hotel on the beach in San Sebastion and had a 4.5 hour lunch with Chef Martin in the very same facility you are working in now. Saw a taping of Robin Food and drank Gin with Chef. You photos bring back great memories- keep them coming. I would like to meet you when you return and have some ideas on how we can make money together with our combined experiance due to the generosity of this great manafacturer Sammic.

    1. Hey Terry! Nice to hear from someone from back home. Yeah ive been hearing about how the weather has been crazy…though whats new haha. Sounds like you had quite the experience here in Spain! Ill be sure to have plenty of posts and pictures. The Sammic factory and martin’s restaurant are defidently something unique. It is a 6 month internship that I am here for and will be back in Chicago around the end of January. I would love to continue to work with Sammic back home, what did you have in mind?

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