I finished my first week as an assistant pastry chef at one of my favorite local cafes. Baking for a restaurant is very different from baking at home. This particular position is also very different from the other foodservice jobs i've worked.
There are little things you just don't know when you haven't worked in a restaurant or attended culinary school. Here are a few things i've learned this week (simple and obvious as they may seem):
1. Shoes are extremely important.
I didn't have non-slip shoes, and the floors in the kitchen are really slick. My new shoes are much more comfortable, and they make me much more confident on my feet.
2. No matter how professional the front of the house seems, the kitchen can be anything.
My coworkers are quirky and have plenty of crazy stories. Enough said.
3. There is a reason people wear chef jackets and aprons.
Man...I really need one of the above. I had to do laundry today because I didn't have any more clothes that were not spotted with chocolate and flour.
4. You need math skills.
I knew i'd need math, but I do a heck of a lot more math at work than I anticipated.
Right now I work four days a week from 5pm-11:45pm. We work after the cafe is closed, and I like it. The atmosphere is relaxed and non-hurried, and I really love the people I work with. We work hard, but we listen to good music and take occasional breaks for salad or dinner.
My chefs liked the Mozart cake so much we put it on the menu!
Anyway, I -LOVE- my job. It's fantastic. I am starting to toy with the idea of trying to make pastry a career...