Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Villa Maiella

My first day at work and I'm already certain that I made the right decision to come here. This kitchen is like none other, it is truly one big happy family. I met everyone in the morning, there is of course Chef Peppino Tinari, his wife Angela who does pasta and pastries, his son Arcangelo who mans the meat station along with Luciano, a man who has been working with Chef Tinari for 25 years. Then there is Luca who is the youngest member of the crew, he's twenty-one and has been working at Villa Maiella for three years already. He is now the pasta guy and can pump out fifty-thousand raviolis an year (or so he says). He also was the one who showed me the ropes today, seeing as he is one of the few who speak English. There are two pastry chefs, one who works only in the daytime and I honestly forget her name already, and then there is Antonio who comes in for dinner and does desserts.

Lunch service was really calm, not too busy, which was good for me on my first day. I helped Luca do a bunch of prep in the morning, peeling potatoes, making stock, and cubing baccala filets. Eventually though he let me plate the amuse bouche for service, that became my job all day, including during dinner service. It was really cool that they let me plate something on my first day.

The whole crew feels like a family, which isn't even a metaphor in this case because most of them really are. Grandma and Grandpa even joined the crew for family meal dinner; they originally opened the restaurant eons ago and still play an active role in its day to day operations. It was nice being around a sweet old Italian nonna, it made me start to miss my mom and dad back home a bit.

and just before I end this blog post I have to add in this little bit of Abruzzo knowledge:

Did you know that pecorino cheese has the same effects as Viagra? (still yet to be proven)....just a little food for thought

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