Another Thursday, another day in Paolo's kitchen. I have to say, I only really started to appreciate the hard work professional cooks put into preparing our (the customers') meals, since I chop, clean and stir at the restaurant La Locanda Montalto here in San Miniato. You might have enjoyed readings such as "Kitchen Confidential" or "Devil in the kitchen" (and they ARE good reads), but being in the middle of the (organized) madness is an experience.
This Thursday we started preparing for the long Easter weekend and I can know add “cutting up 180 lamb cutlets” to my experience. Quite an exercise and one interesting learning: do not use your best knife for cutting the cutlets, as you might ruin the blade with the bones. Better keep a more robust one on hand for the occasion! Thanks to Valeria my good Japanese knife is still alive and chopping.
Oh, and what a fabulous feeling: as we were overrun by guests that evening (kind of unexpected as the days running up to the traditional easter feasts are usually slow), I got to manage the line for the dolci (desserts)… Although much of it was just finishing off the dishes with the individual components already prepared in the line, I felt extremely proud when I called out “via” – indicating to Ilaria that she could serve the plates to the guests….