Martin Berasategui: First Impressions
I’ve just finished a Sunday lunch shift at MB
, preceeded bylunch and dinner shifts on Saturday. Since the restaurant is closed on Mondaysand Tuesdays, I find myself with some time to reflect on my new job and my rolehere.
The first thing I noticed about this kitchen: the sheernumber of people working here. Numbers-wise, we would be very close to afootball team: offense and defense, special teams, kickers, coaches,coordinators and trainers. Onceeveryone is in motion, it can be difficult to find your way through the tangleof people. However, the good thing is: there is always someone to ask if youneed a hand with a task, or if you don’t know where something is.
I chose to start on the fish station; previous BasqueStageMarco Bahena
had told me the Chef de Partida there was the most demanding. Ifigured if I could make it on the fish station, I would be able to make it onthe other stations as well. This logic of starting with the toughest boss mayor may not work out. I have seen more than a few serious tongue-lashings foroffenses ranging from talking too much to improperly chopped parsley.
|Yesica concentrates on the raviolis.
For the past two days, I have worked with Igor (from Bilbao)and Yesica (from Argentina), on the Squid Ink Raviolis
. To assemble this pouchof shaved squid filled with tinta de calamar,
steady hands, aminiature offset spatula, and the patience of an origami professional.Intricate and frustrating, while also imaginative and beautiful, these ravioliprobably will remain my task for the next week; after seven straight hours offolding these packets, I’m starting to get the hang of it.
En total, it’s awhole new world here. Elisha and I are used to skeleton crews in shoeboxkitchens in labor-cost-conscious New York City. I think next week we’ll reallyget a feel for the ebb and flow of service here. While it’s taxing and at timesintimidating, it’s exciting to be in a completely new environment.
Now I’m going to eat pintxosand drink txakoli– tomorrow is my dayoff!