Today is going to be a day! It begins at 6 am. Shower, breakfast, and Bible study with my wife. A small whisper that “I love you” to the kids, even though they’re out cold. Out the door at 7:30 am. Bible lesson podcast on the way in because today I am working by myself and can’t do this alone. Arrive at 7:50, just because. Doors unlocked, trash cans out, and dish setup. It’s time to begin!
Today, there are two separate parties of 50 to 60 people. 120 vs. 1. I’ve had worse odds. I set out my sanitizer buckets and reviewed each menu and what time both parties will be arriving. After firing up all the equipment, I give the kitchen a once over to make sure everything is where I need it. It’s 8:30 am, where to begin…I know I’ll start with the hot foods first. My goal is the best possible product all to be done at the same time. So I ask, what needs to be held at temperature, and what needs to be cooked last? I have to time this all to be as hot and fresh as humanly possible. Sauces, starches, and steaks. Oh my! Everything is pulled from the walk-in cooler and set up for me to fire.
Now it’s time to chill. Not me of course but all of the cold foods. 9:30 is here, so I make all the platters and cover them. Pop these guys into the cooler and get back to the hot food. 10:00 am - A quick meeting with the servers to establish what food goes in what dish. Let the cooking begin! Fire all of the food. Follow all my steps, set all my timers, and finish this out. 10:30 am - Time to sell it all. Put all of the food in its appropriate containers. Bam! The first party is out. Wow, that was fast! Time to check on the servers and take a look at the finished products in the chafers. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Time to set up for the next go round. Sanitize the kitchen, gather the next round of food, and it’s round 2. Ding ding ding!
It’s 11:30 now, and I take a second to wonder where the first couple of hours went. Begin the process again. However, this one is a drop-off catering, so it’s a bit easier on me. I warm up the hot boxes and ice all of the coolers. Then, I meet with the catering director because they will be putting out the food at the venue. Once we establish how the food will be transferred and presented, I begin to cook. 12:00 pm - Fire the food and get it loaded up. We both go over the menu together and get everything in the vans. 1:00 pm - I get started on my dishes and get the place cleaned up for the night shift as they arrive at 3:00. They’re the ones who have the hard job today. Catering for 200 and 200 guests in the restaurant. I’ll wait around to see what I can do for them. Everyone is here now, 3:00pm - The place is buzzing with excitement on the busy night to come. Catering is loaded, cooks are ready for battle, and Danny is headed home to make dinner for his family. Today was a day! On the way home I thank God for his help and guidance. I mentally prepare to be present for my family. 4:00pm -“Hey Dad! How was your day?” I say that it was fun, but in my heart I feel now that the day has truly begun.
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