Well, I’ve made a lot of false promises to my blog this winter. I was stuck in a depression: working a job at a restaurant I loved with people dear to my heart, but finding myself creatively stunted and unfocused all at once. I felt like I was in a shell, surrounded by unreasonable expectations and growing tasks lists that I couldn’t escape. I started dressing less to impress, gaining weight, and procrastinating even the most menial of duties. Basically, my soul was crying for change, and that prayer was answered.
Two weeks ago, I got a new job at Intro, the newest concept by Lettuce Entertain You. It’s a gorgeous restaurant that houses one up-and-coming chef for a period of three months. It’s an educational experience meant to sculpt a chef into a restauranteur: while they are granted free reign to create their own fine dining experience, LEY nurtures and supports their talent. It’s a wonderful concept and their first chef in residence, Chef CJ Jacobson of Top Chef and Girasol in LA, has created a gorgeous and sophisticated menu that I will ruefully never experience myself. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I can’t afford it and I don’t work there anymore.
You see, I went to Intro under the expectation that I would be the food runner who simultaneously managed all social media. I’m naive in the 24-going-on-18 kind of way. Like an inexperienced teen on her first job hunt, I didn’t ask enough questions during my interview. Like many fine-dining establishments, the food runner at Intro, while an integral cog in the efficient machinery, is quite low on the totem pole. The duties include polishing silverware and wine glasses and silently placing dishes before guests. If I actually were that age which my actions portray, this would be a really great job. The pay isn’t bad and it’s mindless work. However, at Longman & Eagle I was a part of the guest experience. I enjoyed the intimacy involved in my descriptions and interactions. I loved the responsibility and the glamor of being entirely front of house but still close enough to the kitchen. I also made way more money. I had left the job I loved in search for greener grasses, tripped, and fallen fac-flat.
Intro didn’t lie to me. I misunderstood them and it didn’t work out. Now I’m unemployed. I’m scared, bumbling, and cold calling all of my favorite restaurants for openings. Don’t think I’m too proud to go crawling back to Longman, either, because I tried to George Costanza my way into that. I was planning to cover the uncovered shift I saw on the schedule and pretend like I never quit. It was all a misunderstanding, I LOVE MY JOB HERE. But they weren’t in need. They were overstaffed before, now they’re set for success.
I was terrified at first. I found myself at Table, Donkey, and Stick, discussing with Jacob the various internships I could pursue and the cheese shop we’d open down the line. In between sips of champagne and bites of raw cow’s milk cheeses (I know how to make myself feel better), I realized something. This is where I need to be right now. This is the push I needed to rediscover the passions that had evaporated throughout the winter.
Basically, what I’m telling you is this:
I’m back. I’m bored. I’m qualified.
And I’ve got a web-cam.
Introducing the first in a series of cooking demonstrations meets vlogging.
I pour out the embarrassing saga that is my life, you learn delicious meals.
Let’s get cooking.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 bunch kale
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Lemon juice to taste
- S + P
- Lined baking sheet
- Vegetable peeler
- Sharpened chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Large mixing bowl
Preheat your oven to 450° F. Peel your sweet potato and cut into 1 ” chunks. Rinse kale and wrap in a clean towel to dry.
Add sweet potato to mixing bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Drain sweet potato, leaving excess oil in bowl. Spread out potato onto baking sheet, ensuring pieces don’t touch. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the flesh is soft but with a little resistance.
While sweet potato roasts, de-stem the kale and rip leaves into 1″ pieces. Toss in the remaining oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the sweet potatoes and roast for 5-10 minutes, until the kale is crisped to your liking. Let cool and enjoy.