I stepped into the kitchen with no real expectations. I was every excited and just as anxious. my first day i wandered around the kitchen looking for someone on the management team. After managing to find my way into bake shop I finally found the Sous Chef. He put me in connection with a manager. I immediately jumped in to help a team slice carious garnishes for a salad bar. It was simple work but still very entertaining. After finishing that I did various tasks around the kitchen. I was essentially a tournant, my role was to jump from team to team to help pick up the extra work.
One of my tasks involved searing crab cakes for a party the next day. A slim, African American gent was standing over the tilt skillet furiously dropping and turning crab cakes. I was awestruck when I saw how many he had completed, as well as how many were remaining. 2 full sheet racks, each filled with 18 trays, each tray containing over 50 crab cakes. I introduced myself and found out that his name was Jeff. We stood, with the racks dividing us, and mindlessly seared crab cakes for another hour or so. I had fully lost track of time by the end.
I discovered later that Jeff had not left until 2am that morning because he had to make and form all of the crab cakes the night before. We were actually doing yesterdays prep work. Regardless it ended up being one of the best decisions I made on extern. I made a solid friendship that would end up helping me. Jeff and I had a very unique relationship. It was more of an unspoken agreement but after that day we continued to work in tandem on tasks. If one of us needed help the other would jump in ,no questions asked. As a result we frequently ended up with more overtime than most of the people we work,ed with. I really enjoyed the work though,. I always had fun doing these monotonous tasks. I think it was partially attributed to the fact that i had a solid teammate. We are always told that a kitchen is made up of a team but it is seldom that you find a teammate you can so heavily rely on.
This stayed constant during my entire 18 weeks at Marriott. I noticed though in the early stages that everyone was very nice, but no one was really willing to stay to do extra work or help their team. That’s not to say I didn’t get help from anyone else. I just felt that the teamwork aspect didn’t really exist. I didn’t mind it, because it forced me to work hard and helped me improve on various skills and timing. Thanks to Jeff and many others my first four weeks were quite enjoyable.