SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Part 1 of this story, I highly recommend it.
I now take you back to right outside the doors of Chelsea Market where yours truly just discovered that his wallet was missing, had no cash on him, therefore no way to make it back to the venue to continue cooking and to receive the delivery of 70 bottles of wine (oh, and in one hand he carried 70 perishable scallops):
Part 2 of the Crazy Day of Our First Big Event!
In a flash, my mind shuts down and my brain takes over! Stop thinking start doing. Tamy works 11 blocks away. I need to run over to her office and pick up a credit card or cash. After 3 calls she does not answer. Must call Christina amazing friend and her co-worker. She answers. Thank God. I have $40 waiting for me at the reception. THANK YOU CHRISTINA. I get back to the venue, drop off the scallops and rush down to receive the wine.
10 boxes fo wine is going to be a pain in the ass to take up, even with an elevator. As the wine is being carried up into the building, I hear a familiar voice "Felipe!" I turn around and see Daniel Mauser from Guanabee.com a long time friend, walking by. "Need a hand?" A smile grows on my face from ear to ear.
Everything is ready, but I take a quick look at my watch. Its almost 4. DAMN! I need to run. I rush home. The smell of rosemary and short ribs lingers through the entire hall. The food is ready. I pull it from the oven and it is perfect. I spend another 45 minutes prepping the sauce and the ribs as well as getting all the additional items ready to carry to the event. I carry everything down stairs including 2 big crates of eggs! As I step out into the cold street with all my equipment and the eggs, I realize that it was that time of day when all the taxis are off duty. Juan, our doorman sees me stressed out and decides to be proactive. He runs off 5 blocks and gets a cab for me and brings it back to the building. Again, just the help I needed at the right time.
I arrive at the venue close to 5:30. I still have to make the croquetas, the avocado soup, the pasta, the mushroom sauce, the coconut sauce, the batter for the cakes... Everyone that was not doing anything started pitching in. Cutting mushrooms, shallots, anything they could get their hands on.
The kitchen was on fire, getting things done. Guests began arriving promptly at 8 and the kitchen was in full swing. First plate was served at 9. 7 people were pitching in, platting, serving, taking pictures... then a small disaster. Jacob, the friend that helped me out with the transportation in the morning, severely cut himself, and Helah, his fiancee and our partner, had to rush him to the hospital. From one second to the next, we were 2 men down.
Then came the moment of realization. A flash of how everything was coming together. There is still much to be done, but considering everything that happend in the past 24 hours we needed to make this happen! As they say in show business, the show must go on. In one second everyone left in the service caught "kitchen flow". Not one word about being 2 people down was uttered. We all just worked our ass off and made the night work as best as we could! Always with a smile on our face, making light of the situation and honestly, despite the craziness it came out to be an amazing night
Yes, the kitchen was crazy. Yes, there was a lot of time between one plate and the next. But considering everything that happened. We pulled it off really well.
There were so many things that I learned that day. Most important was I need to take the time to prep the kitchen 100% before the event. I cannot be chopping onions or mushrooms one hour before service. Make the time to get it done. But the most important lesson from that day was that we can really make it by with a little help from our friends. Without the help of all of you we could not have done it. Thank you Jacob, Brendan, Christina, Daniel, Juan, Myriam (for the extra sauce pot), thank you all of our guests for helping us and allowing us to use you as our guinea pigs. We all had a blast.
And now for some more food porn!
Photos by Jamie via jamesography.com