I'm guessing that's probably a good thing considering:
- I like to pick food off of other people's plates
- I'm not good at faking pleasantries or being nice to people who aren't
- I'm a wee bit clumsy
Wednesday night - we put my non-existing serving skills to the test.
Doug and I were just two of a gang of volunteer servers at a fundraising Iron Chef event.
We had to dress head to toe in black which I did (secretly hoping they weren't checking undergarment colours) and I pulled on my only pair of black shoes (which of course have heels).
We had five courses to serve but were not responsible for pouring wine (thank the gods).
We were told that we had to grab two plates, bring them to where the nice man or frantic woman told us to and then put them down in front of the person they pointed to. Go back, get two more plates and do it again. Then clean up the plates. Then repeat with the next dish. And the next and the next and the next.
Ok, I told myself, all I have to do is follow the person in front of me, not trip and not drop the plate of food on anyone.
"serve from the left and clear from the right" whispered Doug.
Ok I said and then promptly forgot what he said.
I took my two plates of food. "The cold part of the dish goes on the right" said the very serious man handing it to me.
What's the cold part? The whole plate feels cold. Serve from the left but put the cold part on the right? But you put it in my hand so the cold part (I think!!) is on my left. So do I rotate the plate to put it on the right? Or do I put it down and then rotate it?
Don't trip, don't trip, don't trip...
I ended up serving the first plate from the right and the cold part stayed on the left. The poor person's cutlery was too close together so I also ended up putting the plate on top of their fork and was too frazzled to do anything other than say 'sorry'.
Back to the kitchen for two more plates.
Why are everyone's forks so close to their knives? How the hell am I supposed to put the plate down properly?!?
I served, I cleared, I served again.
I was only propositioned by two people, one very drunk annoying person and one guy I used to know years ago. Both rather awkward moments but I carried on like a trooper.
After we served dessert, there were a few extra dishes of cannolis left over and we were told we could try one if we wanted. Having just witnessed the craziness of what goes on in a restaurant kitchen and the fact that I had touched several hundred dirty forks and plates made me say 'no thank you' to homemade italian cannoli.
I think I'll stick to eating in restaurants.
And leave the act of balancing five plates of food to the professionals.