Sigh, one of the downsides of this business is turnover. I love teaching my staff and I've worked with some wonderful ladies, but I have to confess, the pay is low and the hours, although filled with interesting conversation and motivating work, can be long.
As many of you know I share a kitchen with La Perla Bistro/Prestige Events. I had the unique opportunity of grabbing one of their servers and turning her into one of my newest assistants. Mary Ann is currently taking baking and pastry classes at American River College, and although she's worked in the restaurant industry, she is still quite green, enthusiastic, but inexperienced. I'm a firm believer that the best first project for any of my newbies is to focus on one task, but do it over and over and over. The order for Saturday is perfect for this 350 sour cream apple tarts! So Mary Ann has been busting out 4oz tarts like a machine. God Love Her!!!
I was also contacted by a local high school student with an interest in being an intern. Fabulous! Cearra's first night was last night and I got her going on some organization projects. (Side note: Why is it that whenever business is hopping my organization goes to @(#$*#$(& ????) The supply shelf and the glassware shelves were her babies last night. I also gave her the full tour of the kitchen and covered the mine vs. their stuff. It'll really be a learning process for both of us. I've worked with green staff before, but they always had some sort of restaurant experience. At this point, the biggest thing going for Cearra is her enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I'll slowly add more and more responsibility, but I also want to give her a good sense of the big picture of the business. It should be fun!
One of the most important things I've learned is that any good chef is close to 50% teacher. I shared this little tidbit with Mary Ann and told her that to experience this fact, I was going to have HER teach Cearra how to make the tarts! Perfect! We were all out in the dining room together and I was watching them work and do show and tell. I have to tell you, it was VERY satisfying!
Tonight I'll teach the two of them how to make Italian buttercream (one of my favorite things in the WORLD!) and have them make and scoop some cookies.
The business is growing, slowly but surely! October is still going to be a hectic month, but with a couple of extra hands it won't be quite so nerve wracking! (I might even enlist my hubby to do a delivery!)