The Food Junkie

Taste, texture & tales. Inside the mind of a chef.

Personal blog of The Food Junkie, Rebecca Clark. Discover stories of taste, texture and tales inside the mind of a chef that's travelled the globe in search of her next food hit. Bec sports a private cook book collection to rival the British Library and Harvard and shares her cooking wisdom with practical tips and humour. She's co-owner of Fish D'vine and The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach, Australia. An iconic award winning restaurant in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

The adrenaline rush of commercial kitchen service is a hit like no other.

It’s not for the soft or weak hearted. It’s a 3-4 hour nonstop mayhem and I just LOVE it!!  As it starts to heat up, orders are coming in, pans are ready to sear and seal. The heart starts racing, fryers starting to bubble away, stock pots simmering. The grill starts to flare, flames kissing the steak fat as it drips down on to the coals. Plates start clanking as they hit the bench and the others being restacked for the next round. The dishwasher door plunges down and down again. The cycle never stops.

Hype is building, nervous tension filling the air. The calm before the storm is coming to an end. When will the eye hit, how many covers, how many mouths fed. Will it go smoothly, this depends on how the orders roll. Same menu but what and when it is ordered can turn a thunderstorm into a cyclone.

The spills, the splutters, the burns and the sheer danger, it adds to the thrilling buzz that’s now running through my veins. You can’t stop, you have to keep going. If one chef stops you’re fucked! It’s a ballet of fusion, tempers, stress and passion. We are a team and must flow together.

The moment when you look up at the docket rack and it’s so full, order after order. There is also a pile on the back bench that you can’t even cast a thought to now. Heads down and cook. A flood of fear can come over, holly shit am I going to make this. Not even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. You know you must there is no alternative. Burn yourself, get over it. Need a toilet break, yeah right? Just let your passion flow, your training set in and keep going.

The feeling of accelerating fear and love for what you do keeps you on track. Slowly the dockets start to be fulfilled.  Waitresses return with customer compliments. Yes it’s worth it. You can see that you and your team are going to make it. Scars, burns, sweat and tears aside. It’s coming together.

Spike the docket and out the meals go.  You look around and see a beautiful sight of an amazing team that have gone beyond and delivered amazing meals, cooked to perfection. A team that unites together in moments of sheer madness. You have to love it as I said it’s not a job for the weak hearted. It’s for a person who loves madness and a hard core work environment. Happy to give up their weekend, social life, family gatherings. A person who thrives on high stress sessions. A person who not only loves food but loves making others happy.  No wonder most of us are adrenaline junkies.

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now let’s draw the curtains and let another show begin. Yes, in hospitality we are all performing, making your moment special.