A Night in the Kitchen

Hello friends. Last night I had the opportunity to work at a local restaurant in Vancouver that focuses on fresh, local and organic ingredients. It is called the Tomato Fresh Food Café. I applied for a job there as a cook and they decided to have me join them for a night. In kitchen language this is called a stage (pronounced st-au-ge). Basically, you go in, work for free and try to prove you have the skills to work in their kitchen.

Before I get into the good stuff, I have to tell you something quite funny and embarrassing. I was supposed to work there the night before (Wednesday night), but I was not thinking. I arrived there and realized I did not have my shoes. It would take me over an hour to go get my shoes and make it back to the restaurant. I felt awful. I called them and asked them if I could come back the next day and luckily they agreed. I thought I ruined my chances of becoming a potential employee.

Not only did I feel even more nervous after that mishap, but I felt quite discouraged. I also started thinking that I was not meant to work there. Despite my fears, I showed up last night to a friendly staff and had a good laugh about forgetting my shoes (I still did not feel too good about that). After getting a tour of the kitchen, I was put to work. I made roasted tomatoes, poached pears, herbed goats cheese patties for a salad and a prawn aioli. I absolutely loved how everything was made from scratch. Most of their ingredients are from local and organic sources.

They also have a wood-fired oven for pizzas! It was my first time using one of those. I was able to make my own pizza which was exciting. I stretched the dough just like they do in the movies; I was not very good, but I will get better with practice. The ingredients I used for my delicious pizza were: house-made pizza sauce, goats cheese, artichokes, roasted tomatoes, kalamata olives, asparagus, roasted garlic and fresh basil. I went a little crazy with all the ingredients I had staring at me. It was incredible how quickly it cooked in the oven and it tasted amazing!

The pizza was for me to take home. They asked if I wanted a meal and I agreed. The only thing I regret is not taking a picture of the delicious presentation I got to fully enjoy. I had pan-seared arctic char, with a crispy brown rice cake, sautéed spinach, grilled asparagus and browned almond butter. Every bite was delightful! I had devoured half of it when I realized I did not take a picture (oops).

It was not very busy that night; however, I did have a wonderful experience despite how discouraged I was after forgetting my shoes the first night. They also enjoyed having me and asked me to come back. The Chef and Sous-Chef were very friendly – not those scary ones you see on the food network – and I definitely loved the atmosphere. I am hoping everything works out! I can always improve my cooking skills, so why not do it at a restaurant that shares the same view on food?

That was my latest experience with food. This weekend I plan on trying several new recipes. It is going to be a weekend of cooking and blogging. I will keep you updated on all the recipes I am trying. I am also having brunch on Sunday with one of my fellow school friends. Kamut banana pancakes here I come! Happy Friday everyone and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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2 responses to “A Night in the Kitchen

  1. Wow that all sounded so good! I’m glad it worked out, sounds like they have a great team!

  2. Way to go Elisa! I’m glad it all worked out for you 🙂 You’ve inspired me to go cook up a storm from scratch. It may not turn out as well as yours…but I’ll try!

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