One of the most important things you learn as a BasqueStage or any stage coming to Restaurante Martín Berasategui is to be flexible. I always talk about how every day here is an aventura (adventure) and it is, a challenging one for that matter. No matter how prepared I come with my moleskine notebook of ideas, schedules and plans, I am always thrown a curveball. Or a sinker. Or a change-up. Or a knuckleball. Just like in baseball, BasqueStage requires you to sharpen your reaction time, then translate it to Spanish.
For instance, for each Sammic filming day, Athena and I have one grabación (recording) in the kitchen of Restaurante Martín Berasategui where we demonstrate Sammic machines and the other grabación in Hagrid’s hut, also known as la choza de David de Jorge (literally a hop and a skip away on the premises of MB) where we film a personal dish.
What exactly does it take to create these videos? Planning. Planning for me entails many things like developing recipes, locating ingredients, writing scripts, preparing mise en place, building time schedules and most importantly, coordinating with many indispensable others including chefs, stages, Sammic and Delifunart. Teamwork is the most important part and at the same time, the most difficult to teach, learn and build. Never mind playing the field, batting is a whole different story. One day, the lunch service in the kitchen ran late and by the time we had set up the Sammic machines to film, all the stages were returning to prepare for dinner service, making it much more challenging to film with the people, noise and other distractions. Another day the door to la choza was locked and we didn’t have a key so we had to reschedule our personal plate filming. Yesterday the choza had a new heat and scratch resistant countertop installed so we had to postpone the second portion of filming.
Sometimes I can anticipate the pitch before it comes but where it will land and whether or not I’ll get a base hit, is relative. The better I position myself, the greater intuition I develop and the more I practice my swing, the more base hits I will get, no? Statistically speaking, yes. But sports like cooking, like filming, like life, is about adaptation. The more I film the more I learn how to bend with others and how to be versatile and flexible with all kinds of circumstances. I brush the dirt off my shoulders and don’t sweat the small stuff any more. I anticipate and welcome the challenges of filming days. I even look forward to the little surprises, the fast ones, the knuckleballers, that are tossed my way because I’m itching to run the bases, to get some dirt on my shoulders or scratches on my knees. That’s the only way I’ll get better, having played the game.