Thursday, January 8, 2009

Training Day

** Not to be confused with the Antoine Fuqua flick starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke of the same name. **

About a month ago, in early December, Ash and I started to oil our squeaky Shabu sprockets and began our training. From day one (1), Wayne has stressed to us that we have to learn absolutely everything that is involved in running the restaurant from open to close and kitchen to service. Since he did not want us bumbling around like idiots in the front, we started off in the back...from ground zero. Plus, Wayne only had these large t-shirts that we were swimming in, so we didn't mind hiding a bit from the public eye *ahem*.

Though it was long hours and we had to put in a lot of elbow grease, the first couple of weeks actually flew by really quickly. I won't go too much into detail, but here are some of the things we've now perfected (Yeah, right. The guys who work in the back are exponentially faster than us):

1) Washing stainless steel pots. Yes, this sounds trivial, but everybody who washes has a different technique and rhythym - one person bobbed up and down like one of those girls making lemonade at the Hot Dog on a Stick stands (We'll call him Worker X - who has since been trimmed from the staff for underperforming. Lesson learned, no matter how laid back of a boss you are to your employees, they have to respect you and their work).

Scrubby Scrubby Scrub Scrub

2) Washing and prepping vegetables. You can't imagine how much potential "food" gets dumped because customers expect the highest and freshest quality plants on their plate. Ash and I have been toying around with a few possible recipes for some stews which we may donate once or twice a week to soup kitchens, the animal shelter, and/or any other organizations that can benefit from perfectly edible, yet offensive looking vegetables.

Ash the Cabbage Picker

3) De-veining (*cough* de-shitting) shrimp. It was a mess. When is feces not a mess?
4) Massaging and rubbing giant breasts...of chicken.
5) Chopping and plating vegetables. This was the hairiest of all hairies. The way the workers arrange the vegetables, they look like little sculptures on display. When we first tried, Ash and I were infinitely slower, while the plates looked infinitely uglier. With some more practice, we started getting quicker and our plating, if I may say so myself, looked only a bit unattractive.

Not as Easy as it Looks

God, Look at My Hair. It has Since Been Repaired

This is a very condensed list of what goes on in the back. I never realized just how much work goes into making those little nine (9) inch plates of vegetables look so magical. There is no wizard in the back waving his wand around, just a bunch of very hard working guys who made time melt away with their humor and happy-go-lucky attitude. The crew, for the lack of a better description, really does work like a well-oiled machine. Hi fives go out to Sabino, Ricardo, and Oscar and an "Adios" to Worker X.

Check back soon for an update on the divorce of Ash and I in the drama filled sequel to Training Day.



Erin said...

As someone who is obsessed with shabu this is actually quite fascinating to see what goes on "behind the curtain". You guys need to open up a CASS in Irvine!

Ivan Chan Studio said...

She works hard for her money!


calshabu said...

I - So hard for it honey. She works hard for the money . So you better treat her right.

Erin - In due time! I actually live in Irvine, so we're looking at some more options in South County in the future.

Thank for stopping by the blog =).


edjusted said...

So is that the first guy you've ever had to fire? I'm so proud of you! Haha, sucks, doesn't it?

So've never worked in like fast food or anything like that, have you? Man. I was quite the dishwasher in my days at Senor Naugles. Haha. It was so much easier to wash dishes at my own pace than hustling to make burritos.

calshabu said...

not unless you count Chan's Pocket! haahahhahaha.