On my first “A Day in A Life” post, we unveiled Anne’s daily tasks in the Business Center and how she deals with different day to day issues in her department. And now for our 2nd ADAL post let’s see what happens inside the Kitchen.
She is currently working as a Demi Chef de Partie.
This is how Angel’s day goes:
DCDP : Demi Chef De Partie
MEP: Mis en Place – (pronounced meez en plas) is a French phrase which means “putting in place”, as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that he or she expects to prepare during his/her shift.(definition from Wikipedia)
VVIP: Very Very Important Person
Rota: (schedule), a list of employees who are working on any given day, week, or month (definition from Wikipedia)
8am: My day starts by picking up all the items that we need from the main kitchen at the ground floor for our Mis en Place (MEP) to the kitchen at the 122nd floor.
9am: Start checking all the MEP if there’s any spoilage and check the event form if we have a group function for that day. Start doing the urgent things we need for lunch service time.
10am: Check how many reservations we have for lunch, and based on that I will prepare the sauces and mashed potatoes accordingly
11am: Start to set up all the sauces and vegetables and all the meat items we need for the service for the restaurant and for the lounge as we are handling 2 restaurants.
12pm: Start of Lounge service
1230pm: Start of the Restaurant service
3pm: End of lunch service time, close the section, clean, hand over the MEP list to the closing shift.
4pm: Tea break! As a chef, tea breaks depend on the amount of MEP that we need to prepare. The more MEP to prepare, the less likely we are going to have time for tea breaks. (Ouch!)
5pm: Check the dinner reservations and event forms and if we have a group for our Private Dining Room (PDR) which is VVIP we need start preparing the sauces and vegetables.
6pm: Set-up the section for dinner service , check and refill the meat section, update the service guys about the restaurants steak of the day and lounge special as well as the items that are not available at the moment.
7pm: Start of never ending dinner service
11pm: Last order for the restaurant. When closing the section we need to refill everything for the next day service time. Write all the items we need for the next day and MEP , order all the vegetables, meat , and dry items.
11:30pm: Last order for lounge for weekdays and 12:30 for weekends. Time to go home….. Finally! ….
During the busy season we are working for 16 to 17 hours a day- minimum of 12 hours. But then the good thing is, since we work for very long hours we have this flexi rota which enables us to have a 2 days off every OTHER week to cover up those extra hours.
What are your daily challenges at work?
A lot! As a woman working in the kitchen with all boys around – it is really tough. In the hot kitchen one must be very strong. Not to the point that I have to physically fight with them, but I need to make them feel that I am a part of the team and that I am very competitive given the fact that I am a woman. I have that guts – and if I say something they have to follow. In this field you need to have that kind of authority, and it’s not easy as a woman. But I have to say, I proved myself and they respect me.
What’s the toughest challenge that you had with a guest/colleague?
The toughest challenge here is that when one is new in the organization – especially a woman, the guys will try to push you around and be bossy but that’s normal in every company. That’s why you have to prove them that you know what you are doing and that you can tell them f*** off. But before you say these sorts of things to them, you need to make sure that you have all it takes and that you deserve that respect. My personality changes once I step inside the kitchen. I need to be a bitch, (not literally). When working with boys; you have to be one of them.
What advise can you give to our aspiring hoteliers who want to start their career in F&B or for those who wants to be a Chef someday?
If you want to be a Chef, you need to pour your passion and love in all the dishes that you are preparing. You are working to give an excellent culinary experience to the guests and it’s not about the position or the money. Position and Money comes at the right time. You have to set your goals for the next 5 years so that you have basis whether you are effective and if you are achieving your goals at the right time. You have to be strong and you need to keep in mind that whatever happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen. Don’t be so sensitive because if you will take everything personally – you will lose. Yesterday is yesterday and today is today. Every real Chef knows that. Mistakes can happen but you need to learn from it and don’t let this mistake ruin your future. Always keep in mind that “If they can do it, I can do it too.” And the greatest ingredient that you can add in your dish is your heart.
If you are not a hotelier, what do you think you would be?
Flight attendant- I love travelling, and it’s free! (For flight attendants)
Angel started out her culinary dreams by taking up Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management in Don Martin Montessori College. Her career began at Le Souffle as a Commis 3 from 2007 – 2009. She moved on to Ginzandon in Resorts World Manila as a Commis 3 in 2010 and afterwards have taken the next step to her journey by flying to Dubai. Her first job in Dubai is a Commis 2 in Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai, and then moved to The Address Montgomerie as a Commis 1. After a year she was then moved to (a sister company) At.mosphere (where she is currently working as a DCDP), a restaurant located at the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world till date.
*All information posted are duly consented by the person during the e-interview. We do not intend to disclose any information about the companies mentioned as everything written above are purely from the personal experiences of the featured person. This blog is created solely for educational purposes and not for any other agenda.