Early?

Good morning, my neglected little blog… Somehow I lost track of WordPress’ daily topics – and I had by then finished a pretty solid year of daily posting, which was a lot of fun, but at that point I basically abandoned ship.

And just because I am here now, does not mean I am back, by any means. Things are about to get weird, see…

So then, a big part of why I moved up to Alaska, was to take the opportunity of starting a new restaurant – and the games have begun. There is so much to be done all of a sudden! And the game plan has been pretty much thrown up in the air – and remains in play, changing focus and direction by the day.

At this point, the general plan of attack, is for me to just start working at the preexisting restaurant that has been in the building for some years now. It is called Latino’s and is quite authentic Mexican food, and pretty damn good to boot. They have a good summer business and are known by the cruise boat workers as the place to get yr wi-fi on and catch up with the world, and many of these workers are Hispanic, South American, and there are quite a few Brazilians who frequent the joint. So all of the traditional and spicy fare offered there is appreciated, expected, and has been selling nicely for some time now…

The chef is a lady from Costa Rica, who I have not yet introduced myself to – I have only caught sight of her once – her working in the kitchen, and me sitting in the dining room. She goes back to Costa Rica on the first of July, and so, I have about two weeks to learn everything I can from her. & I don’t think she speaks much English – but I’ve got a tiny bit of rusty, broken Spanish here in my back pocket… I mean I’m a California girl, for Christ’s sake.

So when I meet her, I plan to say “Como esta ustedes?” to show my respect and willingness to get if my best shot. Aye yie yie… this speaking Spanish bit is probably the most daunting aspect of the undertaking! But here’s the thing – I have never actually worked in a Mexican restaurant – and I have always wanted to – so this is a very cool opportunity. But all of a sudden I am supposed to just walk in there and run the place, and I don’t have the foggiest notion of what goes on in there yet! Well… I guess I have a pretty good idea, and I learn quickly. But two weeks…

The upside to all of this is that a woman has already won the respect of the staff, and they are accustomed to cooking under her reign. Which in a cultural sense is a considerable feat. I mean the place is chock full of Latin men – the staff and the clientele – and here is me, little white girl – tho I have been oft mistaken for a Mexicana.

But despite my few advantages, I am still pretty much freaking out – and up at 5AM, thinking myself in circles till I finally decided to just get up and finish last night’s smoke, and write. I can do this… it is totally what I am here to do, on a lot of levels. But the simple fact that it is all actually HAPPENING, and happening now – pretty much has me in a mild state of shock & panic.

The previous plan was to take the place over in October, giving us some off-season down time to regroup, clean, train, and all of that fun stuff. But the time table has been changed to now…to a hand-off on the Fourth of fucking July. Holy mole (mo-lay, like the sauce, get it? ha ha)…

So here’s the plan: today I set up the preliminary groundwork for the distributors. I will also meet with another lady chef, who comes highly recommended by out other lead chef – creating a trifecta of  lady chefs to eventually run the show. So that is good news. This weekend is still pretty open at this point, but I’m sure something or other will come up – and then next week I jump in and get to work – I think I will be placing our first order on Tuesday, presumably under the current lady chef, who actually knows what she is doing. So I have a lot to learn, but all in all, it is a matter of getting trained up to cook at a new restaurant, and then just keep that going for the Summer season, and begin transitioning over to our new menu as the fall approaches. It is perfectly doable. And then in the winter we plan to close for a remodel – at which point I will actually be familiar with the kitchen, and the rest of the building, that is going to be the new center of my universe, for who knows how long of a time to come?

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