Have you ever been in a street fight with your friends? Then you know what its like waiting for the brawl to come. Your nervous yet confident, but your over evaluating the whole fight in your head. Not ever really knowing what the out come might be. But you know in your heart that your crew will come out on top and be the better men at the end of it. You just know you can't fall down and whenever you might get rocked you keep fighting until the very end. This is what the mentality has to be going into a busy booked out service on a weekend night.
You show up to work knowing in a few hours that you'll be facing a fight and theres no getting around it. The rush is coming at some point and it's not going to stop for anyone. Your checking the lines making sure all the line dawgs are mised out for the service. Double and triple checking the whole line to make sure everything is in it's place because your not leaving till the fight is over.
All the cooks stand around their station finishing their final little touches, acting calm, yet anxious to see what awaits them coming 6:00 o'clock. You wait around with them looking over the restaurant from expo as customers are sat from the hostess. Seats start filling up, menu's are held in their hands. The wait staff is taking orders for drinks. You and the crew say a few words because in any minute the tickets will start to ring in and they won't stop for the next 4 hours. Theres no time for error now, clear thoughts about not falling down and pushing through every ticket fired is where you need to be. You and your crew will win this fight and come out on top.
The line being slammed is the best part of the night, you find out your true fight in those moments. Being backed up with tickets, but staying ahead on ticket times. Keeping your focus on detail and discipline. The Chef is firing all the tickets at once, your brain seems scrambled, but you keep dropping saute pans on the burner and searing the next steak. Sometimes you want to break, but you can't because that will drag the crew down with you. Never fall down and if some one is, pick them back up because that is the rule of the mosh pit.
This is why I love dinner service. You sometimes think you'll be at a breaking point but you never get there, because you have to be a soldier to do it. Your constantly in action fighting to get the next plate up and moving to the next. You find out a lot about yourself in the rush of service. This is why the line or the life of being a Chef is not for everyone. Your constantly in a mental street fight and you have to come back to the fight the next day.