Chef came in and brought out a tray of raw foie gras from the walk-in, showed me how to dress them into pristine lobes, then filleted a crate of glistening seabass in a few sweeping strokes. I learned to place a sprig of chervil atop each filet, each at the same precise angle. I diced a mountain of vegetables and filled my bins. For a break, I got a broom and swept around the counters and the sneakers at the stove. I learned the salad cook’s name, Daniel, and Bandanna’s too: “Chico,” David answered when he came to collect my scraps for stock and I asked. The three of them were cousins from Puebla, he said. I told him that I lived blocks away, up on the hill. He said the three of them shared an apartment downtown Yonkers. He and Chico had worked in this kitchen six years, he said, and had just brought Daniel over. I told him I had a husband and two sons. He said they lived alone, without women. Chico had a baby daughter in Mexico.
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