is my busy, three-day workweek!
Saturday, I did a 6-course dinner for 6 guests at a fancy condo in Brentwood. I say a fancy condo because there was a valet who parked my car and a security guard who helped me bring in all my containers on one of those brass hotel cart thingies. and you couldn't just get in the elevator, the desk attendant had to let you in and activate your floor for you. Nice kitchen, great family. I worked all by myself for this one: I showed up at 2:30 and had the kitchen cleaned and was out of there by 9pm. I'm getting this whole in-home chef thing down to a science. Everything came off flawlessly, all the food was prepped and served on time, and I kept the kitchen presentably neat throughout the night. I'm really proud of myself. As I loaded out the last of my equipment, another security guard showed up to help me load out... and lo-and-behold, it was STEVE who was formerly a security guard at my culinary school! Imagine that! We gossiped a bit about some people we knew, and he asked me how business was going. I told him that I was really happy and having a lot of fun, I'm standing there with him, wearing my logo shirt, after cooking for people who he knows are pretty wealthy, and the valet came by with my truck, with the silver logos all over the sides, and Steve was pretty impressed. I felt a little embarassed, but hell, what could I do? When I got in the house at 9:30, the phone rang. It was the producer of a reality show that I'd been playing phone tag with for a couple days. Could I go over and cook for the cast tomorrow morning at 7am? Sure! a full, formal breakfast with less than 12 hours notice? After working all day? Bring it ON, baby. I eat some fast leftovers that Kelly had reheated and I get back in the car, with Kelly, to go to the grocery store. Get in at 11, spend an hour fussing over lists and menus and such, and force myself to bed.
Sunday After not being able to sleep all night worrying about how everything would go, I forced myself out of bed (why are you always suddenly comatose at 5am when you have to be up at 5:30?) and finished the last minute loading of my truck. I went over all my lists to make sure that I had everything, and showed up at the mansion right on schedule. I signed a big fat NDA so that means I can't tell you anything good or else they can sue me for two million dollars (!) so I will just tell you that everything went great, smoothly, perfectly, they liked me, I liked them, everyone was so super nice, and I really had fun with the experience. They did a quicky little interview with me with the cast in the background, and so I will probably get some real airtime. And they filmed me driving away in my truck! (Uh-oh, will they blur the phone number? I hope!!) I was high all day thinking about how cool it was. Kelly came with me, and he was going to be my assistant, but they kept him in the control room the whole time, so he got to watch the whole thing. Just before the food was to be served, I got a migrane from the lack of coffee and the lack of sleep and OD of nervous energy, to the point where I started feeling pukey, but I tried hard to choke it down and soldier on. Kelly said he didn't even notice. Thank god, because when the adrenaline finally wore off, driving home, I was sure I'd have to make him pull over. So the show is supposed to be aired late next spring or early summer. <rolleyes> I'm sure that my own reality show is right around the corner... </rolleyes> No autographs, please.
Monday Speaking of reality, I'll be cooking for the new clients again. Big batches of simple food, cooked in their lovely kitchen. I adore that kitchen, you can have one hand on the huge viking stovetop and another on the enormous sink with one of those pull-out squirty things that I covet... and there is counterspace everywhere. Walk-in pantry, gorgeous equipment, pretty plain white china for plating. OH, and absolute freedom with the menu. Makes it hard to come back to my apartment and my crowded little kitchen with the wussy stove and the one-compartment sink.
Tuesday I'm going out to dinner and a play with a girlfriend, and Thursday I cook the third of three meals of a gift-certificate deal. Friday I'll be shopping, planning and prepping for Saturday's cocktail party for 30.
Who knows what adventures next week will bring!
Last thing I ate or drank: I sweated some diced onions, added some diced broccoli stems, added some chicken bones (saved for this exact purpose), brought it to a boil, skimmed it, let it simmer for about an hour, pulled out the bones, added some salt, and some Cous-Cous. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon, and it's dinner!
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