Nikhil Bendre Summer 2018 Blog
by Nikhil Bendre, September 21, 2018
For our blog post this quarter, I would like to talk about one of the hardest, most intense stages I have ever done. This was at Alinea, the best restaurant in Chicago. Leading up to the day of my stage, I was very nervous but also excited to be part of a restaurant that has been changing cuisine in the US for the past decade.
As I made my way to the back of the restaurant, I immediately noticed a huge canister of liquid nitrogen and chefs running in and out of the back door. I could sense the urgency in everyone’s movements, each person having a long list of prep that they had to get done. I was introduced to the Sous Chef who shipped me off to one of the line cooks to help with their prep. Throughout the stage, I was helping these really talented cooks as they made their way through their lists. The high standard of cuisine is visible in the kitchen through cleanliness, the precision of the layout and the way the entire team executes the menu.
Service at Alinea is nothing short of magic. A lot of the plate ware that is being used is impeccable and visibly exorbitant. The plating techniques, the speed of the chefs and the accuracy of the expedition of several different courses at the same time was inspirational. The “expo” station at Alinea is one of the most complicated I’ve ever seen as they accommodate dietary restrictions for guests. This makes the lives of the Chefs much harder, but they say that they take it as a challenge to alter courses based on restrictions.
As the night came to a close, the executive Chef thanked me for my help and I left for hope with an aching back and sore legs, but I knew that this is what I want to do for my next year. I have been offered a commis position and will be starting soon.