Working the Line

I had spent the first two weeks at Restaurant Martín Berasatégui observing lunch and dinner services, noting every slice, scoop and pivot in each micro-station within my pescado partida.  I consider myself an apt observational learner and told my impatient self, “Your turn will come in due time. Learn now from the triumphs and failures of others so maybe later, you won’t drop the ball.”

On the other hand, there’s no knowing until you [physically] do. So finally, I did. Last week I had the opportunity to work the line, to prove myself as a chica in the kitchen. The pescado partida is testosterone-heavy and to infiltrate the male hierarchy is nearly impossible as it is based on seniority. Meritocracy has little weight in any of the partidas. Lucky for me, Sammic beca + Asian charm have some leverage and I wriggled my way between the plancha (grill) and the foam micro-stations. I figured even if I can’t eliminate male chauvinism, at least I can show what this girl is made of: hustle, accuracy, resilience.

Aire de Espardeña (Sea Cucumber Air)

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First Impressions

Ah, finally le weekend (monday and tuesday for me) has arrived. It’s been a long but fantastic first week at Restaurante Martín Berasatégui, now aptly dubbed “El Castillo” (The Castle). I’ve been learning so much I don’t even know where to begin. The food, the management, the people, the singing, the passion, the movements, the aromas…the more I learn, the less I know. The entire, magical experience of being here every day and spending the 80+ hours at the restaurant fuels my curiosity and tickles my mind. I can’t get over how intellectually stimulating this is. Woosh! Okay, let’s focus on these bits.

The Jefes, The Management, King Arthur and his knights:

I’m referring to the top dogs at Restaurante Martín. Did you know they congregate around a [rectangular] table in the middle of the kitchen? Genius setup. This is the hub of power, intellect, decades of experience. From here the jefes (chefs/bosses) can see and manage their teams during prep and also congregate to review details of the day’s work. It’s also their gathering place for meals, guest diners and fútbol viewing. Yes, you heard me right. There is a huge LED televisión in the kitchen and Martín puts on the fútbol action every night. iEpa! Again, genius. Another reason why he is the King.
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