Although hectic, I can't seem to find a reason for the delay in this post. Maybe partially linked to a lack of inspiration and thoughts to inscribe..who knows! But here I am now, two weeks since the last post. One month ago today, I began this journey. Seems so many days ago, ! But only one month, and one month until I will be boarding a plane back to the U.S. Oh my, how time goes. Time, Tiempo, Zeit, (my Spanish has gotten increasingly better) I have realized that I must enjoy and take in everything whilst I am here. Life moves far too quick...I hate that. I enjoy so much thinking about past memories spent with friends and family from various occasions. My life has been so incredible and continuous to amaze me, what a path.
Flavor is memory, the best food/tastes/dishes are ones that evoke a memory from before, from an event/past time that was ethereal. Example: last summer, I had the chance to travel to Chicago with my good friend Emma. We (from my persistence) went to a very expensive dinner at my dream restaurant, Alinea. Currently I believe it stands at fourth best restaurant in the world? We had the smaller set menu, of 12 courses. The best course and one that I will never forget was Blue Crab "Salad" frozen pea puree, cinnamon, ginger, rice milk, and clove. Many times before, I have eaten blue crab close to the Potomac river with my good friends, a feast, good weather, great place, not a happier place to be found. Immediately this dish brought those thoughts forward, with a taste more refined and so so decadent.
I have off today, and have spent it eating a cheap and delicious meal in the local town, wandering the town, buying a few groceries, and relaxing. Spain and this life has now become very natural, seems I don't even remember what the days are like in Richmond, VA! But do not think I have forgotten any of it, it is far from that. Life is very enjoyable here now, and the kitchen is challenging and rewarding. I have not eaten as much food as I am here ever in my life. Two and a half full meals each day, and still hungry. I think and hope I am on a growth spurt! But not too much, I need to fit my tux that I got suited in before I left for the wedding five days after I arrive home!
One of the more recent updates and most exciting for me personally is that soon I will acquire a borrowed bike from Sous Chef Damian! I am quite excited about the soon possibilities of seeing the local areas via bike! Who would have thought, !
Soccer on Wednesdays is as fun as ever, and finally I have begun to get comfortable again like the old days on the field. In shape, also! Chef Felix is in Germany currently, he was suppose to come back 4 days or so ago, but because of the volcano is stuck there. But, he is not working again until the end of the month. In Europe I have discovered after discussions that holiday time is much more common. Two months, for the chefs. That is quite unheard of in the U.S, and is almost a deal breaker for me to settle down in Europe. Only future will tell, however I do think cooking in Europe gives a more comfortable lifestyle than that in the U.S.
Two weekends ago, my good friend Mona from Germany was on the island. I got Saturday and Sunday morning off and got to go spend the night and day with her and her german schoolmate, Carina. We spent the time in the German part of the island, seriously. All of the signs were German, Schnitzel and Sausages served everywhere, German spoken everywhere. Almost thought I was in Germany! It was extremely rewarding seeing someone I knew outside of the hotel and to being able to spend sometime with them. Last weekend, Marco, Markus, and I went to one of the biggest "Disko-Teks" as they call them, or clubs on the island. House(my kind of music) was played all night long! It was an incredible experience, and I think we will venture there tomorrow.
Because Chef is gone, Markus has been taking care of Chef's dogs, sleeping at his house, and using his car. Because he has a car, I have seen and done much more on breaks when normally I was in the room or walking to and from Santa Maria. One day, due to a need of more dog food, we went to Alcampo, or Spain's answer to Walmart. It was huge, bigger than walmart, with a filled food section. One whole aisle dedicated to Spanish Jamon(Ham, like prosciutto but better) and sausages.
One sad update is that Marco will be leaving at the end of the month. The English owner of the hotel does not like seeing so many paid cooks in the kitchen, whilst so little business is being done. Sad and a stupid mistake by him for making Chef let Marco go, he is talented and has become my closest friend here. Stupid order from the owner, seeing as I will be leaving in one month, and business is surely going to rapidly increase in the coming weeks. Without any reservations I am sure the kitchen will need to pick up at least one more cook for the summer. In the past summers, I have been told that there were at least 7 cooks in the kitchen during the height of the season. When I leave, it will be two cooks and the chefs.
(Whilst writing this before, on Friday night, I was interrupted and went out for the night, and now am finishing the post. Time has been flying by this weekend, it is now Monday at 4:45!)
I am getting extremely comfortable in the kitchen...my skills have increased visibly in the past few weeks. Today I worked a station by myself, and exceeded proficiency. Exciting stuff!
Saturday night we went again to the disko-tek, and had a extremely enjoyable, and late(got home at 5:30ish, woke for the morning shift at 10:45) night. Highlight was meeting a large group of Americans who go to Bucknell (all but one were girls) studying in southern Spain in Granada. They were here for the weekend to see the island. Funny to see/and talk to them.
Also interesting and fun to see has been two 18 year old students who are doing externships at the restaurant. They are attending a culinary school on the island and will be at the restaurant for two months. Slow, but good workers. About the skill-level I was at a while ago.
I am getting excited for a promised dinner next week, with one of the front of house managers named Dmitri, from the Ukraine, and Jozef, a server from Slovakia. They are both hilarious and nice, really funny when together. They promise to take me to their favorite spot, a Chinese food place, and then out for drinks afterward. I think to this point in my travels, I classify eastern Europeans as the nicest and most fun. They don't come from much, and are happy it seems to be where they are. Funny lifestyles and characters, I truly excited to go to dinner with them.
I am also excited to bike around the island, all over the internet is information and recommended routes to travel on the island for bikers. That will be a great way to see the island and good thing to do on a day off. Tomorrow, I have off, and tentatively plan to bike around Palma, we will see!
That is all I have for now, not much. I need to regain some concentration and organize my thoughts. Another blog post should come later this week. Also, more pictures! I am on a "Police-listening-to" streak at the moment, "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" is a great song! The weather is really really great right now, almost too hot already though! I am getting tan! Hope you all enjoyed or will enjoy the postcards, I think I've sent around 20! Let me know if you want one and I'll send you one!
Buenas Dias from Spain, talk soon!
Mah and I parting ways at the airport, she cried
The "Yellow Ferrari" range. Hotel reads inscribed on the front. Tour/pictures/more details about the kitchen coming soon.
Local town Alaro