Cooking is Cool

Well my first few days of being in the kitchen has been a blast, but it has been challenging. Many of my companions have many years of experience, whereas this is only my second year of hardcore cooking. One key tip I picked up this morning, know you can cook everything and act like you can. Perhaps the most challenging thing is the fact that there are too many Indian Chiefs in the kitchen. I had 4 folks above me tell me how to chop Pork in different ways. So what's the right way? Leave the fat on, fat is flavour and this place isn't 5-star event though the food is superp. We need the blubber. My shift: 5 am to 3 pm. The morning shift is great and because we do small breakfasts and prep for tomorrows dinner. My little cave in my room is comming about. Last night I got all the tapestries set up in a corner, hid my bed with giant dressers and a fridge, and finally feel like I have a bed to call my own. Got 8 hours of sleep even though there was tons of parties on our floor due to the 'Last Sunset Party'. Unfortunatley I haven't been outside at all except when taking the trash out. One old-timer was telling me that being in the kitchen you hardly every get out. The kitchen becomes your home and the partners become your family. All you think about is producing top quality food, efficiently, and safely. I've totally forgot that I'm even in Antarctica and nighttime is now a thing of the past. So now I must wait another 3 or 4 months to get my snapshot of an Antarctica sunset, sorry boys and girls but that's the way it's going to have to be. Darn.

Here's the dining area. It's full for lunch and dinner.

Spoons, forks, knives, tobasco, salt, etc. All the condiments. Behind there is a juice bar with also milk and water. No soda.

Here's the good stuff. Giant steam kettles. Soups, chili, stocks, sauces, noodles, stews, etc.
Overs in the far back. Friers in front. Small prep table.

Bakers district. This is off limits to production and prep cooks for the sake of safety. As you can see to the left... these girls do the good stuff... cookies, pastries, BREADS, oh my.

My first task this morning was to do up a Spanish rice. 10 qts. rice, 20 qts. water, butter, cumin, x-hot cayenne, parprika, salt n pepper, tomato puree. The way I did... first put rice into 10 lined sheet pans. Add 1/3 lb. butter and spices. Then add water and cover with foil. Throw into oven for 35 min.

This is what it came out to be. Once done in the oven I pull it out, stir it, then throw it into a hotbox as seen above. Right away it was brought out to the buffet line.

Here's the crowd just comming in to eat it. Out of the 10 sheet trays we went through 9. That's a really good turn out they told me. Your lucky to get 8 consumed. It was the x-hot cayenne that tweaked the spanish rice to perfection. Twas awesome in a tortilla with shredded mozo cheese and picadillo.

At 3 p.m. I finished my buddy Justin needed some help with the BBQ ribs. :) So I stuck around to help him. Justin is from California and flew down with me. A real chill dude, age 29. He is soon to be a Sous Chef, one of my bosses. Oh ya, I'm the youngest cook in the kitchen. Everyone I know is at least 26. In the background is another Sous Chef, Johnny. Big feller from Alaska who just got back from working on a pipeline station. I really connect with the big guys from Alaska.

Just some more ribs. Well it's 4 p.m. and I like to get to bed by 9 p.m. I may got hit up the gym finally today. THEY HAVE A BOXING BAG! Justin and I talked about it today, since all we really have to do is cook and explore the icey trails on our days off, why not perfect ourselves a bit more. So of course I'm going to exercise a bunch and work on my innerself.