Internship: Day 4, 10/12/05

So these are the days that you hear about when people talk about the hell of staging and internships. It started out well—D2 was making some fabulous french toast with boysenberry compote and fresh whipped cream when I came in. Much more appetizing than the scone I’d picked up at Starbucks on the way in. But then I spent much of the day making 50 lbs. of sauerkraut. It took me 3 or 4 hours to cut and slice (on the slicer) an entire case of cabbage. Chef kept coming through and laughing, saying he thought this must be a world’s record for slicing. By the time I was finished, the entire right side of my body ached. Once that was done, I took the cabbage and layered it with a cup of salt, and 2-3 juniper berries per layer. Then I had to take a huge masher and press the layered cabbage until enough juice was released to cover the mixture. At this point I asked D, “You guys hate me don’t you?” He laughed and assured me that they don’t, and said that he’d had to do this three times last year. Once the cabbage was all pressed (D helped), we put it into a bucket, put a weight on it, wrapped the whole thing in multiple layers of plastic, and set it on a shelf. It will continue to sit and ferment for an entire month.

My next job was deveining and mashing piles of foie gras to be used for a foie gras terrine. I was only about halfway through the pile at 6pm. D took pity on me as he was leaving and said he’d finish the other half the next day. I was so glad, because I had plans for later that night and was happy not to have to forego them. On Monday, I’ll have my first day on the line. I’ll be working with T on cold pantry for lunch. Lunch seems very mellow, and T knows what it’s like to be new (he was staging, too, until very recently) so it shouldn’t be too stressful. I’m looking forward to it!

The second bright spot of the day: D2 took the leftover french toast slices, diced it, and made french toast ice cream, which most of us took a break to devour. It’s really cool that they let the staff experiment when they have time. Y was working on a new dish all day, and is going to be attempting a pumpkin aioli in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.