so pretty much. tumblr sucks.
I remember this day completely…
Last year, Bing Crosby’s Restaurant and Piano Lounge has slowly went downhill the past few months. Problems paying workers started to get more frequent, losing customers, employees leaving, kitchen neglect, and ect. All slowly lead to the downfall of the place where not only I grew as a Chef but as a person. There was only so much I could do to keep the place afloat, but one man could not stop the titanic from taking on water.
I was the jack off all trades. From doing puny prep work to running and supervising the whole restaurant. I’ve done it all. Teaching new cooks/interns was a blast, I wish I could keep doing that all day. I memorized almost all of the recipes and all of the dishes on the menu. I worked all the stations and did pastry as well. I put so much effort into learning as much as I can, and it paid off in the end. Everyone started to call me… “Chef”.
The night felt like an ordinary night, except we had about 400+ covers expected to show. For about a 6 or 7 person team, it was a very crazy night. We had the best of Bing’s there that night, we were ready for a long night. The prep was mostly done the days prior to this big event so there wasn’t too much to do except to put things in place and get ready for the entree rush.
Before dinner service I said bye to our pastry chef. Her name was Sabrina, she was an intern just like me and came in about a month or so after I did. She was quiet, but did everything we asked her to do. A damn good worker, I hope her the best now as she just got engaged. Anyways, she came in early to get the deserts ready and she had things to do. I said my goodbyes and wished her luck and hoped we would butt heads again in this culinary world.
As orders piled in we fell behind. Maybe we weren’t ready or we haven’t found our rhythm yet. Regardless we pushed on through and when it just got too much for our grill cook to handle, he just stopped. He quit on us. We began to get all riled up and then he left. Right in the middle of the toughest time of the night when all the steak orders started to pop up. I bounced around to cover the other stations while grill gets back into the groove again.
Hours past, sweat drips down from our faces. The tickets slowly cease. Before we knew it, we were on our last ticket. As soon as our chef de cuisine put out the last dish. BOOM. He was out. He just didn’t give a fuck, he was done. I think if we actually had a chef that wanted to get this restaurant back into shape, we would of still been operating till this day. One by one, we left the kitchen to take a break while pantry gets rocked with the deserts.
I step outside, and was handed a champagne glass. “Cheers Jeronimo to a great run. Would of never made it this far without your help.” said my chef. I smiled and raised my glass then chugged that shit. Wow, that was a touching moment for me. It was it, that was the end. The place where I grew up is closing. What am I going to do next? Shortly after, I was offered a job elseware in a high paying position. And the day after more job offers kept coming in from people I’ve worked with. I had about 6 job offers… yet I didn’t choose any of them.
After a few drinks I walk back in the kitchen. Pantry is starting to slow down and running out of deserts. I just tell them to stop. We’re done. I’ll let the customers know we ran out of deserts. Go have a drink and take a break, you’ve earned it. A sigh of relief came from our pantry guys and they walk off. Morgan our sous chef comes back in and we start to clean up the big mess everyone left behind.
I miss Morgan a lot. Needless to say, he was the guy I went with all my questions first because he was easy to talk to. He trusted me with running the lunch service all by myself. I owe him, wherever he is, I’m going to find him and thank him for everything. Its well past midnight now, just me and Morgan in the kitchen cleaning up. The whole crew left us. In the end, it was just us who was really dedicated to our job. We spent another hour or so trying to put things back into place and make it somewhat presentable. We talked a lot, trying to figure out what to do next. Our plan was to go to another restaurant together and fuck shit up! But in the end, i never texted him back…
The last few dishes hit the wash. We were done. People were still cheering and making noise in the dining room but the kitchen was quiet. The owner came in and thanked us for everything, and offered us jobs at another one of his restaurants. Whoever was left, we took a marker and started to write on the walls of the kitchen, just for memorabilia purposes I guess. I just wrote a big ass JERONIMOOOO. Yeah, I bet it is still there lol.
I said my goodbyes to Morgan and the dishwashers, walked out the back door and never been back since.
That place will always have a place in my heart. I put all my love and passion in every plate and I will continue to do so wherever my skills take me.
My new years resolution is to get back in the kitchen, where it all began. It brings a tear knowing that I’m going to pick up my Chefs Knife soon enough.
Chef Jeronimo “Paulito” Villar
If i was an mp3 would you still play me
even if you can download like 3 better ones for free
Would you disagree if I wanted us remixed
we gotta try new things get our beat back on quick
My heart is beating loud, can you hear it dear
cuz i’m slowly gaining fear the end of our song is near
From AM to FM we’ll work it out to the PM,
and beat them these demons, our hearts our screamin
So that they’ll both be in stereo, here’s the scenario
Let’s turn this volume up and fly on to ontario
Show our Bsides, and be fine as we rewind
Back to when our audio never skipped was still in time
I think i finally found the note to make you understand
If you can hit sing along and take me by the hand
Keep me stuck inside your head like your favorite tune
You know my hearts a stereo that only plays for you…
Someone left this box on my CQ desk, I just stared at it for about 24 hours. Fun.
But yeah, so true.