The Dress Rehearsal.
I think I keep jinxing myself by saying that class was boring – today was action packed! We started off with more lecture, notes, quiz, etc., but quickly moved into practicing for the big day tomorrow – serving real live guests! I have never been a waitress before so this is all brand new to me – I am so nervous!
Today was really good practice though. We took orders, poured drinks, served bread, bussed tables, carried trays of food – the works. Luckily we were doing it all for our own classmates, so it wasn’t a big deal if you messed up. Here is my group practicing taking orders.
As you can see the next table over was taking things VERY seriously… :)
As you know, I always pack my lunch for school, because I never know what I can expect in a classroom or dining room, and I’d rather be safe than hungry. My instructor knows that I am a vegetarian, and apparently she mentioned something to the Chef of the International Cuisine classroom (who is preparing all the dining room food), if he could prepare something for a vegetarian diner. I was totally shocked (and kind of embarrassed), because I never would have made the special request myself.
At first everyone laughed, because they are used to me being singled out (and probably because I turned bright red), but then the Chef gave our whole classroom a talk about special diets and vegetarian customers. He said that his own mother is a vegetarian, and that he gets so sick of seeing her have to eat baked potatoes and pasta everywhere, or just leftover sides thrown on a plate together. He pointed out that since good vegetarian food can be hard to find, if you are a creative chef and serve a few good, creative vegetarian dishes, or offer to make something special for those customers, you will create an experience that makes those guests come back time and time again.
He continued on to say that vegetarian (and other special diet) customers are some of the most loyal customers and positive promoters of your restaurant. Not only will those customers come back, but typically when large groups go out to dinner, they defer to the special dieters to choose the restaurant, so vegetarians also tend to promote restaurants well to others! I could not have agreed more! Casey and I almost always go to the same two or three places because we know they have good vegetarian food, and we’ve had too many bad experiences elsewhere!
In a school setting where I am consistently told there is no food for me, or worse – that I should just eat meat – this was so nice and refreshing to hear. This particular Chef has spent many years living all over the world, so my guess is that he is also more respectful of the vegetarian diet because it is so much more prominent world wide.
Sooooo the long point of all that was that the Chef himself made me my own fabulous vegetarian meal today! Move over PB&J – I started with this…
An amaaaaaaazing raw veggie spring roll set, over a delicious salad of carrots, spinach, peppers, and radishes in a yummy sweet and sour dressing.
And for the main course, he made a vegetarian pad thai – heaven in a bowl!
It was the best food I’ve had since I started school. Chewy cellophane noodl-y bits, with mushrooms, scallions, greens, and tofu – so so so good.
I want more!
The fun thing is that my very first sophomore class will be International Cuisine, so I’ll go from serving the food to making the food! Expect LOTS of cool recipes and pictures from that class – food from all over the world!
After we ate it was time to clean up the dining room and wash all the dishes – probably the least fun part of the day.
This is what it looks like on the other side of the back wall, where all the behind the scene action happens. Not much space for 20 students!
And of course our lovely dish room. With my lovely classmates, Michele and Dan, hamming for the camera as always. :)
Today was the dress rehearsal for tomorrow’s real service. Have I mentioned that I am nervous? :) I am hoping that after the first table I will shake off the nerves and be able to relax and have fun. I’m just crossing my fingers that I’m not the first person to drop something!
Tonight is Casey’s late class, so I’m off to get my homework done before he gets home, and make something yummy for dinner so that it’s ready when he gets here. Back after dinner with the giveaway post – fun fun!