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 held the pan with my hand towel and rushed back into the kitchen, bringing the ruined risotto back in front of the chef, “I asked for a risotto, Jenna, not a fucking bag of crisps. Ready another.”
“If you bring me one more bad risotto, I’m going to make you eat the entire thing after dinner service. Got it?”
Jenna nodded her head and grabbed a fresh pan, preparing a new one. I walked back to the hot plate and continued adding finishing touches and assembling plates.
I looked at the increasing orders and shook my head.
Copyright © 2021 by Luka Tatsujo