I think it’s a bad sign when, last night, the three of us girls were walking toward our door after a long night and, in the tree next to our door, we hear a squabble between two birds. Something drops from the tree. A dove. A dove fell to the ground and died in front of us. A bird of peace died in front of us. This is a BAD sign. It is also an apt summary of the drama of the kitchen I am working in and my feelings for it.
I am pretty down about being here. Truthfully, I am not enjoying most of the days of the week. Monday is the best day, Sunday night, in the lead-up to Monday, is also partially enjoyable. In an effort to be more positive, I thought I should list both the best and worst moments of the day.
This evening, when cutting zucca (pumpkin) into brunoise, little five year old Camilla came up and watched me. We practiced her english colours, and she ran around the kitchen naming colours as I brava’d her all the way. Sweet little girl. She always makes me smile.
When trying to look busy so I don’t get in trouble, I sliced my index finger. On something I didnt even need to do. Chef hates two things: when we stand around, even if there is nothing to do…and that I look tired. No comment on the last one, I commented enough last night, thankyouverymuch. &*%^$%&!
Piacenza – Population 95,132
Bilegno – Population 70, with 15 children, and 1 Canadian
I get to work at 9am. I make mini panna cotta’s with an herb called melissa that looks frustratingly like mint when I have to pick it from the garden. I make almond tuilles and candied nocciola, grapefruit and ginger. Then, pronto caffe, time for espresso. I then help with the bread, or prep for lunch service. And…pronto pranzo. Lunchtime, we sit down and eat a proper meal, vegetables, pasta, meat, bread. I am always tired afterwards during lunch service. Lunch service is a mix of the fine-dining ristorante of La Palta, and the osteria they run downstairs for the locals. We clean up and have a break from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. In the evening we have another meal together and get ready for the dinner service, which is all fine-dining. I work on the appetizer station with the sous-chef and I am responsible for makin sure all those treats I made in the morning get out to every table – pre-dessert before the magnificent deserts reach their tables. We clean-up and finish between 11pm and 12:30am. This is my day. 6 times a week.
(photo from http://www.lapalta.it)
We got our placements!