Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Beginnings

Today was an eventful day.

i turned down an $85, 000 job offer for an executive chef position at a well known toronto restaurant, for a head charcutier job at a place that hasn't even opened and for almost 1/3 the pay. 

Am i Crazy? Most people would probably assume so. Not me though. Most cooks i know always opt out for the shittier paying job at the better restaurant. They continue to push themselves before taking that step to make it big, or in this case, make it rich. I am no different. I could have taken this job and had to manage the typical brigade of 7, come up up with new menus 4 times a year, maybe even change up the brunch menu to keep the owners happy. But in the end, i would hate my life. maybe not my life, as i would probably have one, but i would hate myself for spending a decade to be doing this. 

So now im in the beginning stages of opening a charcuterie bar. Something i was hoping to do myself in a year from now, but low and behold just happened to come across someone hiring for a charcutier on craigslist. I thought to myself, i could easily not give it any thought and continue on with my plan. But a part of me wanted to dig deeper and see what it was all about. 

Being the nosy cook that i am, i contacted this craigslist poster to see what was up. After a brief phone call and brunch the next day, i found myself sitting across from a person who had the same concept i had, the same design i had, the same size of restaurant i wanted, decor, even the name of the bar was similar. What was i to do.... 

I had a couple "maybe" part time jobs lined up for 12 bucks an hour at the local organic butchers but not much else going for me at the time. 

So today i finalized the deal. I'm not getting paid as much as a head chef might typically get  , but i've been given an opportunity to do exactly what i want with no added bullshit. But with every good thing comes a catch. 

Due to a tight budget, opening night is Oct. 1st. Thats exactly a month and a 1/2 away!! How the heck am i suppose to make cured meats and have it ready in a 45 days! So a minute after hanging up with my new partner, i got on the phone and called my local mushroom guy Roy (who also gets in great cuts of game meat) to bring me 10 magret ducks tomorrow, i also got him to order me a horse sirloin for next week, because nothing makes a nicer breasola then horse. I also talked to the local veg guys down the street about baby cucumbers. I've never seen them available, but have always wanted to pickle my own gherkins. He told me that they are called #2's.... as in there size and that the farmers only bring them to the food terminal once a week. So, considering its late in the summer season, i told him to grab me a whole bushel for next week. Thats 50lbs of baby cukes he told me! Im not sure if its already too late, but id love to get in some baby zukes too. I havn't decided what type of pickle ill apply to these guys yet, but im thinking ill do a fermented style to keep the colour and keep that nice crunch. 

i'll keep you posted.

No comments: