No I’m not throwing in my whites, shaving my head, and attempting to infiltrate a religious sect of men, although that might make a better story. I’m changing stations once again at the restaurant I cook at and moving up to the entrée line.

Le Bernardin On The Line

Excitement can’t even begin to describe a goal that has been so heartily pursued through the course of a year. In some ways ‘relief’ is a closer fit.

But I have learned heaps along the way personally and professionally and each station I have conquered has also come to represent a period of my life throughout this year. And what a rocky roller coaster year it has been for me and just about everyone else I know for that matter.

I keep coming back to a conversation with the Chef de Cuisine after my burn injury. He said, “Amy you’ve got to cook from within. Protect yourself in this environment.”

Anyone who has cooked under pressure will understand there is a zen you must find while in the midst of potentially dangerous chaos. A sort of serene tunnel vision that sees the food to the pass and keeps the adrenaline rush at bay. And, it does get easier and more controllable with time.

Now what exactly does the Monk station do? Poach halibut, plate monk fish, skate, stripped bass, and get everything to the pass hot and medium rare. Not to mention prepare an intimidating plethora of garnishes from silky potato purée and corn cannelloni’s wrapped in leeks to truffled frisée salads, fried eggplant, and more.

I’m sure I’ll find out exactly what the ‘more’ is tomorrow morning at 6:45 A.M. – yikes! I normally don’t get to bed before 3:00 A.M.

But I am very much looking forward to being totally exhausted tomorrow…