Saturday, April 19, 2008

The play-by-play...

Still wiping sleep from my morning eyes I walk out of my bedroom and can see clearly into the room across the hall. The sheets and duvet on the bed are pulled as tight as a trampoline, the fold down is perfectly straight, the pillows evenly fluffed and pillowcases perfectly smooth, a sign of the exacting standards of a precision stewardess. Oh, she’s good. She’s real good. Nine months at home and I’ve grown lazy with my bed making. I have got to step it up lest I’m labeled the messy one on the boat – and no one wants the chef to be the messy one! Especially ME!

Gigi, our chief stewardess, arrived yesterday from England. Although she’s technically Canadian, she lives across the pond but her dual nationality is reflected in her accent – as she says ‘oot and aboot’ (out and about) and toe-mah-toe (tomato). Gigi is also a massage therapist so I will be doing everything humanly possible to become her best friend! I decided to make sushi for her arrival, which turned out to be a good call, as I learned just before she arrived that she is semi-vegetarian (no meat), as is her husband, our engineer – but he arrives next week.

The crew are trickling in over the course of the next two weeks – which is a huge relief for me as I get back into the swing of actually working again, familiarize myself with the kitchen at the crew house and local grocery stores, etc. I’ve drafted a crew preference sheet in order to find out everyone’s likes and dislikes and I’ll be making a guest preference sheets as well.

I’ve only been in Seattle a few days, but already it seems like a month. I’ve been scouring the web researching induction cookware, searching out custom chef jackets, pouring through catalogs getting my order together for pots and pans. It’s really challenging to put together a list of all the pots, pans, trays, etc. - everything that I could possibly need while we're circling the globe. I’ve never equipped a kitchen from scratch before! But, as luck would have it, Gigi and I got completely and thoroughly lost one day on the way to the boat yard and stumbled across a massive restaurant supplier called Bargreen Ellinson. I took note as we drove by and was able to find them again the next day. The folks there have been tremendously helpful as, over the past three days, I’ve roamed their isles looking at pots and pans, fastidiously taking notes about type and size and make, to research and decide on what I need. The cook top on the yacht is a 5-burner DIVA Induction, so I need induction ready pans – but I also need something that will be good to use on gas, because I’ll be cooking for the crew at the house until the boat launches. Originally, I was planning on going with the Sitram Profiserie induction ready line – but a major restaurant supplier in New York said, “They stink. Go with something else” and I've read some complaints on the internet about weak weld points on the lids, and sharp edges around the rim of the pans. The guys are Bargreen sold me on Vollrath and from all my internet research it seams Vollrath is one of the top makers of induction cooktops, so I figure they must know a thing or two about cookware as well. Tomorrow will be another day spent roaming the isles gathering my list. I also have to research blast freezers and vacuum sealers - toys for the boys when they’re fishing off the boat. And next week, I’ll be meeting with the cabinet/shelving designer to create shelving set up for the galley and walk-in.

So far, my day starts around 8 or 9 am. The rest of the crew go to the boat yard earlier – but I start my day a little later, bring the crew lunch, work a few hours at the office and then head home to make dinner - which is easy right now because there are only 4 crew (myself included), just wait until all 10 are here – then I’ll be running a bit more!

Fun, fun, fun – work, work, work…

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