A very nice day today. Sunny and warmish...11degrees!
Casa is settling into a good routine. So am I.
I get up at 7.30 am. Shower! Oh, tomorrow, I can use our new power-shower! Can't wait!
Breakfast. A massive mug of tea and something to eat.
By 8.30 I am at our Pizzeria. The espresso machine is switched on as soon as the alarm is switched off.
Computer on. I check last night's business. Espresso to get the neurones oiled up.
Staff begin arriving from 9.30am. Quick chat with manager.
By 10am everyone is in. "Good morning!" "Goodbye!" and I head for Casa.
Kevin loves HIS kitchen so he always gets there early. He even came in on Sunday while Karen and I were hanging more pictures and coat-hangers!
Keen or what?
Adam and his assistant, the cleaners, other members of staff are all in!
A few jokes after changing into my chef's things. I got us all some red t-shirts printed with Casa del Mar and a black bull underneath. So everyone in the kitchen matches, even the porters. Looks good.
A quick chat with Kevin and the shift starts with preparing food. At the moment I usually do those dishes that have to be ready ahead of service, such as Cordera con Salsa (Slow cooked minted lamb) , Paella, Cocido Madrileno, etc...
Kevin and his young chefs get on with preparing chickens, prawns, cleaning mussels, frying potatoes, Albondigas, sauces, etc...
We share most of the jobs throughout the day and during service, we tend to complement each other by doing specific tasks to ensure that all food is served hot and promptly.
We tend to tweak our performance as we go. "I think we should do this next time, what do you think?" I often sneakily prompt Kevin to suggest something so that he feels good about improving things.
I'm always joking, trying to sing and waffling while preparing food. This is my team-building style... They either like my Jacques Brel or they're sacked... Fair is fair!
But as soon as service starts, I insist on total silence broken only by words relating to service. This encourages concentration and prevents mistakes such as burnt dishes, forgotten items, etc...
Kevin seems to like the regime and I hope that when I am away in just over 10 days, he will be able to maintain it.
Going away worried me a little but with the addition of another of our young chefs from one of the other restaurants, I feel that by the end of next week, everyone will be able to put in a great performance. I will be missing two Saturday nights, the only shift that usually stretches most restaurants to the limit nowadays.
Adam said stoically that I will only be at the end of a phone line. He has just begun to realise that running restaurants is an 80-hour-a-week job. If you're organised...
...Notice that the camera hasn't been found yet and I am struggling with making the right purchase!