what do I love? My new job! My new restaurant! My new co-workers!
After years of sitting at desks and having small teams with people I didn’t spend much time with outside of the office, this new deal at Coast is a dream.
I’ve been in training two shifts a week (pastry is primarily in the preparation), one shift being a day prep shift and the second being a dinner service (plating) shift. This has been going on for the past 3 weeks, and I’m one of the (lucky) few who actually got into Coast to train. The current brigade only had 7 cooks and now we’re at about 21 so to say we’ve grown is huge. I got up to speed with the current cooks, with some of the pastries, and felt comfortable moving forward.
Yesterday was day #1 of being in the new restaurant. It is jaw-dropping gorgeous. 350+ seats, two floors, an open show kitchen, a circular bar featuring a SF-style chowder station, oyster shucking and sushi, and an uber-hipster lounge attached next door. Totally unpretentious, super high class but not stuffy at all. The look on everyone’s faces, mine included, as we entered our new home was priceless. Dark wood, accents of teal green, circular hanging chandeliers. Everything is brand spankin’ new and shiny and beautiful, and we’re all eager to get into the kitchen. Yesterday was spent in seminar (corporate policies etc), and today was all about learning the menu. Tomorrow we get into menu training, and I beleive for our pastry team of 3 that means breads for the next three days. Before the hot side cooks get in there tomorrow, the recipes needed to be tested so the current cooks got in there and cooked us lunch – homemade pasta, crab risotto, giant poached prawns, salads – all incredible. The food concept is simple – fish, fish, and fish. Simple, beautiful seafood, prepared perfectly but not complicated. Massive seafood platters with Dungeness crabs, local mussels, oysters, king crab legs and more spilling off the platters, with dry ice underneath creating a massive smoking cold effect. We are making naan bread to serve with lunch salads, brioche buns to toast for soft shell crab ‘hoagies’, pumpernickel buns for artichoke prawn dips, and more. Desserts are equally compelling – molten banana coconut cake served in individual cast iron frying pans, ‘peanut butter and jelly’ bars, of peanut dacquoise (a nut mereingue) and strawberry gelee, passionfruit trifle, Grand Marnier-macerated local berries, and the list goes on. I’m excited.
As for the team, it’s going to be great. I’m so happy to have started my training at the current Coast, so I’m a step ahead. Get along great with the kids there, which is great because teamwork is nothing at a desk job compared to in a kitchen. It can make you or break you…and it’s the biggest and most-watched opening in the city this year, so it’s an exciting time. Met lots of the newer hires too and everyone is excited to work with amazing food, in this fantastic kitchen. I can’t think of the last time I was really excited for work, and although I’m sure it will kick all of our asses, I couldn’t be happier than where I am now.
Will post photos and menus etc. as they become available (and approved) but in the meantime, anytime after our July 8 media launch, please come to Coast for dinner! It’s the best seafood in town, I promise!