Saturday, March 21, 2009

A working job interview

By Tyrone

The ultimate job interview is one where the potential clients sample your work. In the case of Tyronne, the residents of the Xanadu Co-Op at Stanford University ate the product of his labor. It's a situation where the manager and clients can pass judgement on your work.

You see, Tyronne "interviewed" for the job of lunch and dinner chef last Wednesday. His account, re-printed below, describes his process and menu for the day.

Unfortunately, he was told today that the job was given to another chef. The good news is that he may have a second opportunity in September when the chef plans to leave the job.

My job interview/try-out went well today! I went in and just started working in the kitchen like I had always been there, checked in vendors and the laundry man, started prepping and cooking after getting oriented with the kitchen. Later in the day there were a few casual introductions then they left me to work.

Miguel the hasher was none committal about how I was doing, but by the afternoon he was hoping I would come back. I am not sure what the process exactly is, and who (or how many) have to decide and approve. But they told me I would know by the end of the week, then the guy said, "And hopefully it's good news too!"

He really had some questions for me later, and during lunch time I went out and talked to a few of the students in the house. I got compliments from the main guys I was in contact with and a few of the students who ventured their way past or through the kitchen. It was a good day.

I had a few problems that cost me some time, it had to do with the food order. So I just re-adjusted and put out good food anyway.

Lunch: Lemon-caper chicken, roasted artichokes with lemon-caper sauce (vegetarian option), grilled mixed veg (broccoli, red-yellow-orange peppers, red onion), Jasmine rice, and a fresh fruit mix (apples, kiwis, strawberries) with a yogurt-honey sauce and granola topping -- salad bar everyday too.

Dinner: Was going to do petite beef tender medallions (terse major), BUT the beef was chuck bottom round. so, I made a rub, seared it off, finished in the oven and sliced it thin like roast beef. To me that was the only guarantee I know the meat was going to taste great and not be tough to chew.

I then grilled portobella tops (ginger-balsamic) for vegetarian option, herb coated and baked small reds (potatoes), roasted beet salad (red and yellow) with roasted garlic vinaigrette topped with feta, and I made honey wheat rolls, and also jalapeno cheddar bread.

I got my meals out on time, 12 pm and 6 pm with a break between 12-2 pm, so you work 8 hours -- but I actually worked a little more during the lunch and dinner time after getting the meal out -- to finish some things up, but that's to be expected in a foreign kitchen first day.

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