Got there at 9:30. And there I did everyone's *least* favorite job - making the eggplant. The café serves a sandwich called the ELT (breaded, fried eggplant, lettuce, tomato and herbed mayonnaise.) They don't make the eggplant.
First, I rinsed and sliced fifteen eggplant (I'd guessed at half the full carton. Chef asked me to count them, and it turned out I'd left a dozen behind. Not really a problem.) The slices were seasoned with salt and pepper. Then they were dipped in flour (also seasoned)and dusted off (this means hit two slices of eggplant against each other *hard* until there's only a bare coating of flour), egg (just eggs and a bit of water) and then panko crumbs that had been ground smaller in a Robot Coupe. This took about an hour. And I didn't do it the way I was taught - one at a time, one hand for dry and one for wet. Nope. Dump a bunch slices into the hotel pan of flour, hit them together in pairs and dump them into the eggs, and then into the panko, and then onto a full sheet in a single layer, to be covered with a sheet of parchment paper and layered again.
And then I *cooked* them. Yes, I *finally* got to play with fire, after days of playing with just knives. Which means I took two large and heavy frying pans and put in a lot of oil and waited for it to heat up properly. This took a long time as well (and I had to keep an eye on some latkes at the same time.) And the oil burned in one pan and got foamy (too wet) in the other, so I had to do some switching. Oh, and they were good.
After I cleaned that up, I went on to knifework - I peeled some rutabagas - with a chef's knife, not a paring knife or a peeler. That's because they're heavily waxed. Then I cut them into small chunks. Next I did the same with carrots, except I use a peeler. In both cases, the vegetables were mixed with oil, salt and pepper and roasted.
Oh - just note. Chef needed vinaigrette for something, and wanted A to make some, but she reminded him that we had two quarts left from the slaw. He tasted it and said it was fine for his use.
The vinaigrette that I'd made. Not to mention watching John the dishwasher take down the trays of veg mix and potato salad that I'd made. It's...people are PAYING to eat food *I* made.
WOW. WOW. WOW.