Six months

I have been remiss in writing a post. Either my 13-hour days at Tippling Club have gotten in the way, or I’ve been having too much fun. Why not both?

Five weeks at Tippling Club and I felt like I had been there for months. Butt slaps, dirty jokes and ear-cringing sing-a-longs leave little room for privacy and personal space, so all one can do is join in and within days, I did.

But as much fun as I had joshing around with the Tippling crew, I enjoyed working with them even more. It’s come to a point in my career where I’ve been in enough kitchens to spot good teamwork or selfish attitudes quickly. Good teamwork solidifies a restaurant’s success and Tippling had that—hands down one of the best I’ve seen for a long time. No egos, no attitudes. That’s rare.

I’ve never seen so many instances where one cook would jump onto another station to help another cook out. Pastry to savory. Hot line to cold line. Snacks to pass. What tasks? Picking herbs, done. Portioning fish, done. Peeling garlic, done. Cleaning a station, done. Nothing was deemed too small for anyone to do. And all of this was completed without being directed by anyone. That’s the best part—not being told, just doing. All of these cooks must have been trained well, had great examples or simply possess an innate sense of how to work in a kitchen. Every chef dreams of a team like this. I would happily work with any of them again in the future.

I’m six months into my travels. Half a year already? It’s hard to believe I’ve been in three countries and four kitchens with more to come. I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone along the way—good hardworking people. I’ve eaten amazing food, both inside and outside the kitchens I’ve worked in. And techniques? There are certainly many out there, and through this process I’m learning and selecting which ones to retain in my repertoire. All in all, I haven’t regretted a single moment.

Off to Tokyo on a red-eye flight tonight. Time to trade in my spacious living quarters for a tiny box, English for Japanese and good food for more good food. Another country, unfamiliar surroundings and a new culture—give me a week and it’ll feel like home again, just like all the others.

Ready to get back into a proper pastry environment with Chef Andres Lara starting this Friday!

– C



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