So this morning I'm in the kitchen chopping vegetables for stuffed peppers and as I'm finely dicing a handful of button mushrooms I flash back to my first restaurant job in San Francisco.
It was located on Nob Hill, there was a Swiss chef, a kitchen full of ambitious young male cooks and me.
I was hired as prep/dessert cook. In the hope of discouraging me from staying in the restaurant I was thrown (literally) 25 pound bags of onions to peel and dice, the same amount of potatoes to peel and slice, gallons of cream to whip and baskets of mushrooms to chop. I don't discourage easily though.
I quickly learned the difference between 1/4 and a 1/2 inch cube and the importance of each.
I honed my knife skills here but there was many a slip between the knife and the skill set.
One of the slips took off a finger tip forever lost in 10 lbs. of mushrooms.
After a quick tip to the emergency room, I was back at work. When you're 5'2, 90 odd pounds and you work in a male dominated industry you don't make a big fuss over accidents.
So bandaged and wrapped I was working the dessert station mixing ice cream with fresh fruit. I piled it in a dish and topped it with a dollop of whipped cream and a bit more fruit.
One dessert got an extra touch, it got my finger shaped bandage. I didn't realize it was missing until a scream was heard from the dining room.
That dinner was comped :-)
Tonights' dinner of stuffed peppers has a filling of sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms, kale, ground turkey, quinoa, feta cheese, a few teaspoons of tomato paste and S&P, I prebaked the peppers in a 350degree over for 15 minutes and will stuff and bake them tonight at the same temp for about the same time.