Joon-Yee Chuah is a middle school math and culinary science teacher in Austin, Texas. He infrequently updates his blog, whyhenrycooks.blogspot.com, now that his mother has learned to read things on the Internet.
- The dumplings didn’t get enough steam time. It’s really hard to steam that many dumplings at once. We had to “MacGyve”r a large steamer together at the last minute and just didn’t start early enough. Some of them turned out a little hard.
- We ran out of salad. Some of the servers started getting impatient with the speed of the platers and started trying to plate themselves. This was a big no-no, as the service staff wasn’t trained on portion sizes or presentation.
- I left the kitchen, went to the cafeteria and jumped in at the point at which we started serving soup. Do you know what it’s like to ladle 150 bowls of soup? Somewhere around bowl 80 you say, “uhh… haven’t I hit 150 yet?”
- There weren’t enough vegetarian entrees. Meat eaters changed their mind at the last minute and went vegetarian. It wasn’t something I had planned for, but should have.
- The flourless chocolate cake went into the ovens at the wrong temperature. The ovens were still hot from broiling chicken, steaming cabbage and whatever else we were using them for.
- The front of house team got my props. They managed to accomplish more than I had trained them for. They did it autonomously. They did it admirably.
- People LOVED the entree, despite not understanding what bonito was and asking for it to be 86’d. Bonito is flakes of dried Japanese fish. It’s used in making authentic miso soup. Also, it sounds gross when a kid tells you that you’re eating “fish flakes.”
- Even though we had a number of no-shows, people were extraordinarily generous and donated far past the suggested donation price. We were more than able to cover costs and the leftover funds will be used as capital to do this again.
- In other news, I’m going to do this again, this time as a fundraiser for our school’s quiz bowl team. We’re going to sell tickets to have funds up front and an exact guest count.
- Also in other news, people think I’m nuts.
Here’s what we discussed in class:
- The students worked some of the hardest, most demanding jobs in the world for a mere six hour shift for one day.
- Most restaurant workers work at more than one restaurant, sometimes with as few as six hours of sleep between closing one restaurant for a night and opening another the next morning. (Mike calls it a “clopening.”)
- At minimum wage, this is barely enough to support oneself, much less a family.
- Go. To. College.