This week looks better. The dishwasher has been repaired. Le patron has also spent all Saturday trying to repair the drains himself. So far so good, no more swimming pool. Also I havn't seen any more animals. And I am back to my normal evening shift only. In addition le chef has found his sense of humour back and keeps joking around and teasing me. This is more fun. Remains le patron "to fix". I asked him how he really was, and while he was searching for a diplomatic answer I said : "your pause is already too long for a positive reply." And he admitted that the business situation really stressed him. He used the phrase "Ca passe ou ca casse" (it will work or break), which makes me now a little worried too.
So far I had confidence, assuming that le patron has enough money to pay his former associate, but now it seems there might even be a small chance that if he doesn't get the credit, that the restaurant has to be sold. I don't even want to think about that scenario. Yesterday evening we had only 9 covers. That was the absolute minimum record since I work there. It was one of the warmest days of summer, and I assume everybody wanted to eat out on sidewalk restaurants with outside seating possibility. I would have opted for the same. While I enjoyed a quiet evening in my kitchen, trying recipes for the new menu, and preparing some more mise en place for the week in advance, this will of course not help le patron's mood.
One of my dessert proposals that was accepted for the new dinner menu next week is "Brownies au piment d'Espelette avec glace au caramel beurre salé" (brownies with pepper form southwest France and salted caramel ice-cream). For all my new starters and desserts I had planned to look up recipies and do trial & error sessions during the week, as we don't start before next Wednesday with the change. Now what I did not know, is that le patron has also put this dessert on the new lunch menu, which starts... today. Usually the lunch menu and the dinner menu are very different, but some ingredients and recipes are leveraged.
So le chef asks me at 6 p.m. : "Did you bring your brownie recipie ? I want you to make them tonight for tomorrow's lunch service" Me : "No, I was going to do some research over the weekend, and by the way I have never made brownies before". Chef : "Can't you call some of your American friends to get a recipe ?" Me : "<silence>". If I ever was going to make a super-urgent call to friends it is because I am in deep trouble, but not to ask for a brownie-recipe NOW. I didn't explain to the chef my concept of friendship, but instead I asked to use le patron's computer to search for a good recipe on the internet. I thought a reliable source would be chocolate & zucchini . And indeed I found a recipe, simply assuming it was a good one.
We had no nuts at all in stock, so first thing I had to go shopping to get some, 10 minutes before we expected the first customers for dinner, a bit crazy. But as we had so few customers yesterday it was no issue to delegate the service completey to my commis and then dedicate the rest of the evening to brownie-making.
I believe they turned out quite well, but only today I will taste them. I am a bit anxious that I baked them a little too long or too hot by following the instructions litteraly instead of adjusting temperature and time to our professional convection oven, and therfore they might be too dry inside. But I know for a first trial they will be o.k. It was about time that I get to learn to make some decadent dessert !!!