Kitchen hands. Is there a meme?
The worst mine ever were, was when I worked garde manger at Rundles in Stratford, Ontario (entremetier too). Peeling cases of artichokes — two, three or more at a time — for Neil Baxter's braised artichokes with sourdough stuffing and garlic aioli.
There was a conveyer belt running 24/7 from Castroville, California. Into his kitchen.
I had nightmares featuring the Ocean Mist Farms' logo.
My hands were a fucking mess.
They looked like I was a three-pack-a-day smoker who earned a living shovelling coal into the engine of a steam train.
I went to a wedding and sat on them — everyone around me with gorgeous manicures.
Me, nursing a bad case of nail envy.
I've got them again.
Now, I can't imagine it any other way.
Have done a lot of chopping.
My apprenticeship in garde manger was too long.
I had tits and an ass.
It's where the girls went. In the late 80s and early 90s.
I had little agency.
Worshiped in the temple of male authority.
For longer than I'd care to admit.
That's changed. For the better.
But all that time in garde manger. Gave me superpowers.
I taught Larder at the Stratford Chefs School. Loved it — butchery, fish and shellfish prep, cheese, preserving, pâtés and terrines, hors d'oeuvres, complex and simple salads and cold sauces.
Traditionally, the work in that department has depth. It's complex.
There's less respect for the station in North America. We've turned it into a kind of kindergarten. A place to pass through quickly on the way to saucier. A fucking shame.
The first act of a meal comes out of that corner of the kitchen.
It better be captivating.
"Certain times in our lives come to take up more space than others."