Day 1: Dos Palillos

3 May

No pictures. Who had time? I worked from 2:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Today was a short day. Thursdays-Saturdays, I go in at 9:30 a.m. and leave at about 1:00-1:30 a.m. Yep, a.m. to a.m. – 15-16 hour days.

Luckily, I’m working with Vincente this week. He does mostly pastry and has been with Albert Raurich since Dos Palillos opened 4 years ago. Vincente is really mild mannered, very helpful, and gives me a lot of responsibility (too much, I dare say, for my first day). He left me to my own devices reading tickets and making desserts while he went upstairs to deal with new recipes on the computer. Yikes. Luckily, the desserts weren’t all that complicated. But, the thing about all the courses at Dos Palillos is that all the chefs serve what they prepare and provide explanations with them. I’m going to need to write some of the translations down.

Things I like about Dos Palillos, so far. 1) The philosophy: everyone does everything. We all start by doing prep. We all prep everything. No one gets the “worse” job, if there is one. Then, a few hours later, everyone takes a break from dealing with their stations and we all stuff and close dumplings. Then, a few hours after that, Vicente and I made about 100 spring rolls. It’s basically whoever has time to make whatever, makes it. Since Vincente and I were on pastry and we got our work done early, we did spring rolls and cleaned prawns during dinner service and before desserts were up. 2) Both ladies who worked the bar, the chef de cuisine, and a few of the other guys. They are all very nice and 2 of the guys told me they know it’s overwhelming the first few days (which it is). There are 2 possible tasting menus: A) 13 courses, or B) 17 courses. Every dish has its own certain plate, sauce, plating technique (mostly with chopsticks), and oration to accompany the service.

The things I dislike: 1) Antonio, the other stage, who has been at Dos Palillos for 1 month yelling at me in front of the chef de cuisine that I shouldn’t wipe my hands on my a__. My response: Well, if they’d provide hand towels, then I wouldn’t have to. How about paper towels? Nope, they ran out. Okay, so where should I wipe my hands after I incessantly clean them, which is a good thing? Haven’t figured that out. 2) Antonio giving me orders on what to do. I’m sorry, how long have you been there? Oh, yeah, I forgot. You’re a young Spanish kid who has that awful machismo going. Wonderful. 3) The crazy hours. Did I say I wanted to be a chef? Ummm, yes I do, and I’m willing to work that hard when it’s my own restaurant. But, for free? Call me crazy.

It’s time for this crazy to go to bed. It’s past 2 a.m. and I have to be there in 7 1/2 hours again.

4 Responses to “Day 1: Dos Palillos”

  1. Bee Leng Chua May 3, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Rachel – sorry that you got yelled at. I feel your pain. Nobody likes it and it doesn’t always bring the best out of us. When I get yelled at, even though I do eventually gather my nerves and bounce out of it, there is the initial shock that can be quite paralyzing. Still I like your balanced approach – seeing the good and the bad. Hope you get some hand massaging to recover from crimping those multitude of dumplings … and spring rolls! Stay cool and full of good food!
    Bee Leng

    • rachelogdie May 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Thanks so much for your empathy and kind words of encouragement! I need them and they mean a lot! I did more dumplings and spring rolls today, and then blended and pressed out some almonds that had been soaking overnight to make almond milk flan. I’m on a 1/2 hour break before dinner service prep starts. I just had a chocolate macadamia nut brownie and a cup of coffee, so I should be good for at least the next couple of hours 😉 Hope all is well in your world!

  2. carnet May 4, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    Hang in there Rach… you are the new kid in class and it will get much easier the more days you are there. It will be a good chance for you to practice cursing in Spanish!

  3. Gigi May 5, 2012 at 7:19 am #


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