Monday, January 17, 2011

A teensy tiny change of plans

So, last we heard, I was proceeding full speed ahead to begin interning at Auden's Kitchen this week. Well, about that. I got a call from Chef Will Thornton last Thursday, and everything got flipped upside down. The little thing about doors closing and windows opening? Yeah, that.

Backstory on Chef Will. He is the program director for the Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management programs at St Philip's and has been for a couple of decades. He is American Culinary Federation (ACF)-certified CEC (Certified Executive Chef) and CCE (Certified Culinary Educator) and was named ACF Texas Chef of the Year in 2006. So he is a Pretty Big Deal.

He is also my personal mentor and biggest fan at St Philip's. All the really neat opportunities beyond the basic classwork have been given to me because of him. When I got tagged to teach a 2 hour class to the San Antonio Rampage players last semester, it was because of his support and his intuition that I was deep down inside just ACHING to be given the spotlight in front of a class. I didn't even know that about myself yet, but he sure was spot on. It was the most fun I have ever had and has led me to focus my culinary dreams on instruction! He also owns the Original Mexican Restaurant on the Riverwalk, which while not a bastion of authentic Mexican cuisine (it was planned from the get-go to be touristy), it is consistently rolling in cash from happy visitors to the Riverwalk.

So. The phone call. "Hey Megan! Have I told you recently how much I adore you and think you are the bestest?" (That's never a good sign. It means he has a big project and is about to pawn it off on me, knowing that I am completely incapable of saying no. Okay, yes, all the projects have turned out to be wildly successful, fun and informative, so maybe it IS a good sign. But still, I felt a certain trepidation.)

"So, you're starting your Practicum next week, yeah? Well, how would YOU like to come work for this little restaurant consulting company called the Will Thornton Group as an associate culinary consultant?"

Yes, I dropped everything. Yes, I made my apologies to Auden's Kitchen. And yes, I am positive it is about to be the most fun semester ever. I mean, CHECK OUT these new objectives! This is what I will be doing this semester!

1. Design and implement operations manual for the Olives Ole event at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens as the Associate Director of Operations
2. Develop menu and manage service execution for the Rodeo Competitor Luncheon
3. Develop and integrate training manuals for both front-of-house and back-of-house at the Original Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio, TX

Looks like the kitchen will wait! I'm off to do great things. Wish me luck!