The two waiters standing in front of the order counter picked up their respective serving trays and went into the sea of dining tables and hungry patrons. I took a brief moment to catch my breath and wipe the few drips of sweat from my forehead.
“Christ,” I mumbled, “We’re really in the shits today.”
In the middle of my few seconds of peace, another waiter approached the counter and handed me two more ticket orders. Undoing the top button of my chef jacket to let some air out, I faced the kitchen and read out the orders to my staff.
“New orders in, listen up.”
Every person kept at their stations, cooking orders and preparing the dozens of incoming meals, as I read off the tickets. It was lively both inside and out the kitchen, everybody on their toes and working like a well-oiled machine. Dishes were leaving the kitchen at a rapid pace, compliments from satisfied customers came back in droves, and everything had a whiff of delicious food. This was the peak performance of my crew.
But tonight was a different story.
“I’m waiting on risotto, where’s my risotto?”
I kept cleaning around finished dishes, making sure no extra spills or slips around the edge of plates existed. As I placed two more orders on a serving tray, I heard one of the new chefs coming up behind me and placing something on the hot plate. I looked over and saw a freshly-made order of risotto waiting to be plated.
I took a tasting spoon and quickly scooped up a bit of the risotto, tasting it, and quickly spitting into the trash next to me, “It’s crunchier than a fucking potato crisp.”
Copyright © 2021 by Luka Tatsujo